Nothing Posterior About Little Rock’s National Standing In Tight End Production

I recently wrote a piece for OnlyInArk.com supporting the theory that my hometown of Little Rock is the “tight end capital of the world” (in football, not fitness). My theory is supported by four* great college and/or NFL players: Keith Jackson, D.J. Williams, Hunter Henry and Charles Clay. I realize Williams is technically a Fort Worth, Texas native, but for the purposes of this piece he should be considered a Little Rocker — especially since he still lives there.

Little Rock has a population of about 200,000. That means one out of every 50,000 of its native sons is a world-class tight end!

Not just wanting to rely on blind hometown pride, I decided to drop a little research my theory’s way. Thanks to sports-reference.com, I gathered the hometowns of the best NFL tight ends in history — first-team All-Americans since the late 1970s and winners of the John Mckey Award for the nation’s best collegiate tight end (those winners are asterisked below).

The spreadsheet helps Little Rock’s case** by showing how the town produces so much more on a per capita basis than anywhere else. A few places vie for second place. Torrance, Calif. for instance, produced the greatest TE of all, Tony Gonzalez, and a great collegian in Daniel Graham.

St. Louis doesn’t go quietly into the positional night, either, not with Hall-of-Famer Kellen Winslow and three-time Pro Bowler Paul Coffman to its name. But according to the list, at least, these towns don’t have more than two great tight ends. Sure, it’s possible someone moved into the town as a child or young teen (like D.J. Williams did with Little Rock), but I will need to see those cases first before I admit the slightest of doubts that my theory could be wrong.

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Steph Curry’s Legacy Isn’t Complete Until He Shoots 11-for-11 On Threes

With Stephen Curry deciding to manifest as a full-fledged shooting god this season, I thought it would be worth exploring what his as yet-to-be-accomplished greatest game will look like.

In a recent piece for SLAM Online, I explain why Curry’s signature game won’t come in the form of an all-out Points-mageddon as it did with Wilt, MJ and Kobe. Instead, it will be a tour de force in efficiency since he’s reaching combinations of production (averages 11 three-point shot attempts a game so far in 2015-16) and accuracy (hitting about 44% of them) never before seen.

Given these numbers, which actually could rise in the coming months, I predict Curry will become the first NBA player to notch a perfect shooting game while going over 40 points. With an all-time hot streak, I want to believe* it’s likely he will one day go something like 11-11 or 12-12 on three point attempts in a single game.

An 11-for-11 game isn’t asking for much, Steph.

It’s only a single made shot basket better than what Ty Lawson accomplished in 2011. And it can’t be that too much harder than the 9-for-9 games Ben Gordon has apparently trademarked.

Below are the most accurate, high three-point attempt volume games in NBA history**. These are the guys Curry (whose career accuracy high for threes is 6-for-6) has to surpass:

Because, hey, sometimes you just gotta highlight a Jet's name.
      Because, hey, sometimes you just gotta highlight a Jet’s name. (via basketball-reference.com

As you can see, Sam Perkins is the only player to attempt more than seven three-point shots yet not miss a single shot from the field or free throw line.

Perkins’ college teammate has gone down as the greatest scoring guard in the game’s history. If Curry one day knocks that teammate from his throne, expect him first to knock Perkins from his.


*What are the actual chances Curry will actually hit all 11, or all 12, or all 13 of three-point attempts in a single game? I don’t know. But if you can some calculations and figure this out, let me know. 

** Well, at least since 1985-86 according to basketball-reference.com. But I’m willing to bet there wasn’t a more prolifically precise game in the five years before that and after the three-point line was instituted.