UCF Police Had To Evacuate A Building On Campus When A Kid In A LeBron Jersey Threw Powder In The Air During Class
My only real takeaway here is that, depending on your mood, it has to be either hilarious or insanely annoying to be a cop on a college campus. Between petty protests, general debauchery, and the type of stupidity that - ironically enough - is only common to those attending institutes of higher education, the amount of time that goes wasted in tending to calls that our more regrettable than that of the booty variety has to be through the roof in comparison to those actually protecting the safety of society.
The chances that a blonde bro in a 'James' jersey was committing chemical warfare on a classroom by recreating LeBron's customary pregame routine are slimmer than the jeans he was probably wearing when he decided to become a viral story in the most "white male on college campus" way of all time, but you still can't take the chance.
Nope, instead you have to pretend to take yourself seriously while giving out a laughable description of the suspect, tweeting out pictures from NBA.com, evacuating buildings, and clarifying that the attention seeker was, indeed, just a rogue douchebag. I would imagine that to be very frustrating to those without a sense of humor, and if I learned anything during my college years it's that the same guys that give out noise violations with a stern face take themselves far too seriously.
It Looks As Though Zach Strief, One Of The Last Remaining Members Of The Super Bowl Champion Saints, Is Retiring
While this isn't the greatest of news for a Saints' team whose offensive line depth could also be dealt a sizable blow depending on the type of cash that flows Senio Kelemete's way in free agency, I will say the following on behalf of Zach Strief. If, after months of deliberation, he does indeed decide to walk away from this team when things are as good as they have been in years then it's a choice that was undoubtedly made for the right reasons. Having gone through no shortage of crappy times only to come out on the other side of them with a legitimate opportunity to become one of only three (four, if Chase Daniel stays around) Saints to win two Super Bowls in New Orleans, he has all the incentive in the world to work his way back onto the field. So, if the mental and physical hurdles that he - more than anyone - knows he'd have to overcome to take on a new role as a high priority backup for a team that certainly seems poised for bigger and better things appear to be too much for him to take on then they probably are.
Selfishly, I want to baselessly deny the accuracy of this report. Not only because it comes from Ian Rapoport, but also because I hate to see injuries bring an end to someone's career. After a rough go of things in 2015, Zach Strief bounced back and proved that he's still a hell of an offensive tackle when he's at full strength. Getting back to full strength and remaining there for the entirety of what would be his 13th(!) NFL season appears to be the problem, and - after all he's done in coaching up the players that were unable to take his starting job until an awkward blindside hit did - who can blame him for it being a problem he'd rather not deal with. Especially when his next venture is in the part ownership of a business where he can truly enjoy watching the franchise that doesn't need to see another snap to consider him a beloved member of it...
It's obviously not "goodbye", but if it really is "see you later" then I think I speak for all Saints fans in saying we are appreciative that it didn't come any sooner.
According To Brian Windhorst's Sources, Some NBA Teams Are Studying Analytics In An Effort To Make Tanking Harder A Little Bit Easier
I love this, and not just because it's a sign that actively losing has become so woven into the fabric of basketball that there is now a legit science to sucking, but also because the numbers nerds have to admit that there is officially such thing as knowing too much in sports. I'm not one of those people that's burping up beer and trying to remove the excess ketchup from my shirt was by way of tongue while campaigning for the separation of problem solving arithmetic and professional athletics. However, it is nice to see those that swear by nothing but analytics put in their place by the idea that all that math can both add and subtract from the product on the floor.
Of course, the allegation that even the teams that are disinterested in competing are interested in running the numbers to make sure they don't accidentally do so is proof that analytics aren't going anywhere. Despite what the crusty curmudgeons that think they've watched too much basketball to be schooled on more efficient ways of playing it might think, that's actually a good thing. Still, I'd be lying if I said no part of me was made happy by the prospect of those that think you need a TI-83 to talk sports in an educated manner taking even the smallest L by coming to grips with the fact that their computations are ultimately responsible for a whole hell of a lot of much more sizable L's. Just because the math is right, doesn't mean the answer always is. If you can't wrap your head around that word problem then I suggest you heed the words of David Fizdale and....
After Dedicating The Remainder Of His Season To A Victim Of The Parkland Shooting, Dwyane Wade Nailed A Game Winner In Miami
I don't want to take away from what was an objectively awesome sequence of events in which Miami's own provided a therapeutic moment of celebration to a grieving area of the country with a vintage 'Flash' performance that served as a tribute to a fallen fan. I'm not even religious, but something as seemingly meant to be as Dwyane Wade nailing a game-winner with the name of someone whose life was senselessly taken far too early scribed on his shoe makes me want to believe that said person was watching from above while proudly sporting the number '3' across his chest.
That being said, since therapy typically follows tragedy, can we stop pretending that appropriately timed highlights that transcend sports aren't happening with a nauseating amount of consistency? I mean, as harrowing as it is, I think we've all sadly become at least slightly desensitized to the mass murder of innocent Americans, so your priorities are super jacked up if the relatively meaningless feel-good moments that tend to follow haven't started to feel less and less good.
What's done is done and not even the most throwback of step-backs can retroactively take a weapon out of the hands of a psychopath, so I guess the best was made out of the worst kind of situation from a sports perspective. However, I couldn't help but find myself wishing I were in an alternate universe in which we'd be talking about Dwyane Wade coming home to provide heroics for the Heat instead of Dwyane Wade coming home to provide a rare reason to smile for an entire state.
What took place last night was quite obviously bigger than basketball, but - as a basketball fan - I'm fine with basketball being only as big as basketball if it means that this fucking country isn't in a constant state of mourning. Credit goes to Dwyane Wade for being more than an athlete, and thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of Joaquin Oliver, and - goddamn it - this cycle that comes subsequent to disaster is starting to give me deja vu.
TheComeback- Back in December, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Sean Davis posted a video to Snapchat poking fun at a young-looking Chick-fil-A employee. Now, he probably wishes he hadn’t.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a family in Wexford, Pennsylvania has sued Davis for libel, cyberbullying, intentional infliction of emotional distress and slander, claiming their son was subjected to bullying after appearing in Davis’ video.
Via the Post-Gazette:
In the video and audio recording, posted to Mr. Davis’ Snapchat social media account, Mr. Davis said “Chick-fil-A got little kids. This kid like eight years old. No wonder the lines be so long at Chick-fil-A.”
The complaint described the teen as “very small for his age, regarding his small stature and youthful appearance.”
The video also “incorporated an emoji of a face laughing until tears were flowing out of its eyes, representing how funny looking he thought minor-plaintiff was,” the complaint continued.
The lawsuit reportedly claims that the teenager suffered headaches, depression and anxiety from the teasing he endured after the video was posted.
Davis’ defense against the suit is that, as his lawyer told the Post-Gazette, the video was a “commentary on a billion-dollar corporation” that “had nothing in particular to do with this young man.”
I have a hard time believing that soooo many teenagers follow the Pittsburgh Steelers' second-year safety that one of his SnapChats was the catalyst behind an emotional distress-inducing amount of bullying at one particular school. Unfortunately, I have a much harder time defending a professional athlete for filming a fast food employee in a condescending way. So while I'd be willing to bet this is an unbelievably frivolous lawsuit, I certainly wouldn't be willing to promise you I wouldn't be trying to grab some money from someone who stuck a goddamn camera in my face while I was checking on the state of their chicken sandwich.
Sean Davis is most certainly not a criminal, but - if this story is accurate - he is kind of dickhead. So, as far as I am concerned, it was either spit in his food or try to hit him where it hurts. Considering the person responsible for this mess doesn't think his target was qualified to wrangle Polynesian sauce, he should be happy that "little kid" is trying to undeservedly earn his way out of having to work as a soda servant. You want service from a grown man who is both able-bodied and easily incentivized enough to fetch your fucking french fries in a more timely manner? Either put your goddamn money where your mouth, or realize you have more of it than most and shut the hell up while you get what you paid for.
There's plenty of ways to do "commentary on a billion-dollar corporation" without mocking the poor son of a bitch whose making minimum wage to fulfill a dozen crappy responsibilities that don't include a guest appearance on the social media of a public figure while he's at his lowest moment as a human. Therefore, I'm all about this kid and his family taking advantage of a mild inconvenience and being both overly litigious and ludicrously greedy. If only to prove there actually was an "...or else" attached when their son gave that "please stop" stare to a pro athlete who felt empowered by picking on a fast food worker.
Dammit...god dammit. It's not fair...it's just not fair. Expansion teams are NOT supposed to be having this much fun this early in their existence. A rag tag groups of outcasts almost instantly gelling in a way that allows them to win with both consistency and quirky showmanship? Is this re-casted, straight-to-DVD adaptation of The Mighty Ducks? That would make a hell of a lot more sense than it being a group of professional players who were given away for free rallying around the disbelief their former teams had in them to come together and dominant the best hockey league in the world.
Of course, that subtle and topical hat tip to the most hipster hobby of the Winter Olympics was very fitting of Marc-Andre Fleury's...shall we say...flare for being lovably extra between the pipes. Still, it's no coincidence that it fits in seamlessly in with the casual and carefree way his team has taken the NHL by storm in turning Las Vegas, of all places, into a hodgepodge hockey town. Literally and figuratively sweeping through the competition. If nothing else, the Golden Knights have a solid set of stones.
NJ.com- Leading up to Monday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline, the Devils seemed to be set after making their one move on Thursday to acquire forward Michael Grabner.
But general manager Ray Shero continued to talk, and the price on one of their targets dropped -- allowing them to acquire forward Patrick Maroon from the Edmonton Oilers before the closing bell.
"This was more of a 'last 10 minutes' basically," Shero said. "Patrick Maroon we know well, he was on our list. But with any player that was available, there's a certain price point asset-wise that we're comfortable with. That price seemed to come down, and that third-round pick is in 2019, so we have 16 months to recoup that, or if Anaheim re-signs Adam Henrique, we can get their pick."
Perhaps I am giving Ray Shero a little too much credit for doing his job. After all, monitoring the market, weighing risk versus reward, finding value, and keeping in mind future ways in which assets can be recouped all pretty clearly fall under his umbrella as General Manager. He deserves praise for keeping himself dry as almost all of the moves made under said umbrella have made for brighter days, but he's not exactly going above and beyond the call of duty by tossing a bunch of lines in the water to see what bites on trade deadline day.
Well, that is, unless you compare him to a bunch of his peers who basically went fishing in a shallow pond with a stick of dynamite by lighting the fuse on their first round picks in a deep draft. I thought Ray Shero paid a pretty fair price for two rentals However, relative to what other executives desperately shelled out, he basically left a couple pity draft picks next to the bodies after clubbing opposing negotiators over the head and nabbing two guys who have scored a collective 93 goals since the start of last season. Proactively getting Grabner for a second and a player who is years away from seeing American ice was a good deal, but beating the clock to reel in Maroon for a third and someone whose most notable attribute is a warm body was a great deal. The Devils can admittedly afford to tread more lightly seeing as they are still rebuilding, but an ability to avoid getting swindled has become as much of a rarity in NHL front offices as it has become a staple of Ray Shero's management strategy. That bodes well for the future of a team that went from hopeless seller to bargain buyer in the span of no more than one year. Their architect is a shark, and - considering how poorly some NHL teams are being run - there's a lot of blood in the water.
This summer was the first time I was given the opportunity to write a best man's speech, and the most common piece of unwanted advice that I kept being given despite my best efforts to avoid it was to keep it short and sweet. Needless to say, I didn't and I have no regrets about it, because the length of a public address doesn't really matter as long as both the addresser and the addressees are fully engaged.
I say that to say this, I'm glad that Patrik Elias threw that same type of caution over the clock when he stepped to the microphone during his jersey retirement. While he ran a bit long, his words spoke of a bond between himself, New Jersey, and the Devils that was too deep to be considered anything other than familial. That level of mutual loyalty has become such a foreign concept in the business of professional sports that he could still be up there discussing how it all came to fruition and the only reason I wouldn't be on the edge of my seat is because I would still be standing.
At the risk of comparing legends, there were even moments when it felt as though Elias' indoctrination into the rafters was a bit more special than that of the company he'll now eternally keep. Part of the reason for that is obviously recency bias and part of it is the fact that the most decorated scorer in Devils' history has a personality that's as timeless as his place in franchise lore, but it's not just his ability to get a laugh that makes him a bit more relatable to fans.
You see, in a lot of ways, Patrik Elias' never-ending struggle to be properly rated and recognized for his greatness parallels his team's struggle to shed themselves of baseless and largely undeserved labels. I don't even want to get into numbers that are Hall Of Fame worthy. A resume full of all sorts of franchise records that currently seem as unbreakable as the media-fueled inferiority complex of Devils' fans speaks for itself. Plus, it takes seeing beyond the statistics to realize just what the player who became fondly referred to as 'Patty' meant to a franchise that never truly got the reverence they deserved throughout his 20+ year tenure.
It's not just the unforgettable memories of clutch performances gone by or the undeniable chemistry he created as the lone constant in the two most successful lineup solutions in the history of the organization. It's that the entirety of Patrik Elias' career spits directly in the face of every lazy and nauseatingly repetitive narrative that's been used to discredit the Devils' prolonged success. "They play slow, suffocating hockey"...except for the guy that flirted with a 100 point season for the highest scoring team in the league during the peak of their supposedly dismal defensiveness. "No one wants to play in New Jersey"...except the two-time Stanley Cup champion that literally picked up the phone and placed the call to a GM who I imagine to be a less than cordial conversationalist when it came time to make an official decision about his future.
Every hockey fan knows that Marty Brodeur revolutionized the goaltending position. Every hockey fan knows that Scott Stevens was the preeminent leader and the most intimidating presence of a generation. Every hockey fan knows that Scott Niedermayer was a transcendent talent that long predated others of his ilk, and that Ken Daneyko was the heart and soul of the team he grew up with from the beginning. The legacy of Patrik Elias, on the other hand, somehow isn't as clear to those that didn't witness it first hand. In a weird way, I think the idea that having a full appreciation for the sacrifices he made to remain in New Jersey is something that's as exclusive to New Jersey as his NHL career made celebrating that career feel like a more exclusive experience for Devils' fans.
The immediate success of the first overall pick and a Hart Trophy-caliber campaign from a former first overall pick have finally opened the minds of outsiders to the possibility of Devils' players producing offensively. So the recently elapsed time frame that's stitched across the bottom of that #26 banner doesn't just represent the playing career of someone who defeated a life-threatening illness without losing a single step as he went on to add another illustrious decade to said playing career. It also represents the era in which the person it canonizes was thee two-way, all-purpose player with endless creativity that Devils' fans could point to when dismissing the notion that Lou Lamoriello was keeping Jacques Lemaire locked in a basement to draw up offensively offenseless blueprints for success since the mid-90's. On behalf of a proud fanbase that's long been forced to rally around a lack of respect, I can't thank Patrik Elias enough for staying in New Jersey and consistently performing in a way that absolutely demanded it from anyone who was actually paying attention.
In much the same way that a curbside dealer of three card monte has a stronger affinity for repeat costumers, I refuse to believe there's anything Ray Shero relishes more than his opportunities to sit down at the negotiating table with Peter Chiarelli. For that reason, you probably could have told me the Devils flipped a first round pick for an industrial-sized garbage bag filled with all the blue Oilers jerseys that became irrelevant when they opted to dress as poorly as they are run, and I'd hesitate to criticize the exchange. With how flawlessly the Taylor Hall trade has aged, I've come to look at a matching of wits between the GM's of Edmonton and New Jersey as one that makes the odds of David versus Goliath look even. Never mind that the latter has been batting damn near 1.000 since taking over the Devils, because the former is more likely to toss shit at the wall and see what sticks than find himself within a stone's throw of outsmarting a more accomplished adversary.
But let's put aside the fact that Peter Chiarelli could ruin a wet dream, because - in adding Pat Maroon to a group of forwards that's starting to rival Milan Lucic's pockets in depth - Devils' fans will be Glad to know that Ray Shero did far, far better for himself than acquiring another team's trash. While another rental at left wing was just about the furthest thing from being an organizational need, it makes total sense that a sizable winger who can bang bodies during the time of year in which it becomes much harder to simply speed past them was a want. Add to that physical presence a nifty set of hands that would make a widdler jealous and a complementary scoring touch, and the recurring nightmare of cluttering the power play with a human parking cone - sorry, Jimmy Hayes - becomes a counterproductive concern of the past. New Jersey didn't just get another finisher, they got one who is built to do so in the tough areas that have proven torturous to the team down the stretch of close games.
Like a move that was relatively frugal in comparison to the rest of trade deadline day or not, the Devils are unquestionably a more skilled and intimidating team than they were a couple hours ago. Admittedly, I'm not entirely sure how the lineup shakes out since it's more heavy on left wingers than Hollywood, but there are worse problems to have than too many options. The Devils gave up a 3rd round pick and someone who is really only considered a prospect because he's too young to be completely written off for the type of versatility that typically - and statistically (See: Maroon's 26 points in 42 postseason games) - pays dividends in the playoffs. Ray Shero made it clear that's what he had his eyes on when he scooped Michael Grabner, and he doubled down on his faith in this Devils' team by picking up Pat Maroon. With the Peter Chiarelli's farce-driven fate on their side and their young roster starting to appear rather alluring, I have a tough time envisioning a scenario where it doesn't pay off...
Pray for the well-being of every NHL talking head that only recently stopped neutral zone trapping the Devils in an incredibly outdated box by calling them "boring". If the topic of Taylor Hall's Hart Trophy candidacy didn't blow their minds than New Jersey becoming a desirable destination will certainly finish the job...
Jonathan Martin (Former Dolphin And Noted Bullying Victim) Posted A Firearm And A Cryptic Message On Social Media That Got His Former High School Shut Down
TheBigLead- Harvard-Westlake School, a prominent private school in the Los Angeles area, shut down today after a security threat. Police said, via CBS Los Angeles, that this closure “was due to a former student, now an adult, who made threats in an Instagram post Thursday.”
According to 12up.com writer Nick Brown, Jonathan Martin, the former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman who was an alumnus of Harvard-Westlake, posted this in his Instagram story:
Oh, the irony. The former professional football player that infamously couldn't handle some locker room hazing that more than likely went a bit above and beyond has some lessons to teach us about bullying. The first - and you might want to write this down, because it's definitely the most important - is that it's only okay when he does it.
Seriously, how else would you describe scaring an entire high school into shutting its doors with a clear and present threat of violence when said type of violence currently has the entire nation restless? Clearly Jonathan Martin isn't "all there", but suffering from emotional distress doesn't make him any less guilty of inflicting that same angst to the nth degree unto hundreds of uninvolved and innocent students as well as their friends and family. Sometimes words hurt more than that 'sticks and stones' saying implies, but they don't cause nearly as much pain and anguish as the visual of a firearm, live ammunition, an ominous quote about death, and an extensive list of potential targets.
This is probably more of a cry for help than anything else, but trying to assume what's truly going through the mind of someone who would post something so sinister and psychotic on social media is a losing proposition. Therefore, I think were about five years late on isolating Jonathan Martin from society for good. While I have no doubts that Richie Incognito tends to push the boundaries and misread situations when it comes to fucking around, there's only been one teammate that's taken serious umbrage with it. Not so coincidentally, it just so happens to be the crazy person that ironically stole a bullying tactic in trying to humanize school shooters and mass murderers by way of ambiguous threat.
VICE- The vast majority of Russian athletes who could have competed at PyeongChang 2018 were banned from the Games due to Russia's widespread doping scheme uncovered in the wake of the Sochi Olympics. Certain athletes deemed to be "clean," however, were allowed to participate under the Olympic flag, as "Olympic athletes from Russia."
Since the start of the 2018 Olympics, two of the Russian athletes allowed to participate have been popped for doping. First, curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium—the same heart medication that got Maria Sharapova banned from tennis for 15 months. Today it was announced that bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva also tested positive for a banned heart medication. We don't know the specific medication that triggered the positive test, but we do know she has to upgrade her wardrobe...
I don't want to completely let this Russian bobsledder off the hook here. After all, she basically screen-printed skepticism across her chest days prior to getting popped for crushing more pills than a college student in need of a 36 hour cram session. Of all the teenagers to have gone walking through the park late at night with a 'D.A.R.E.' tee shirt on, not a single one of them has ever done so without - at the bare minimum - a one-hitter in their pocket. I don't know that there's a right way to trick people into thinking you're innocent, but seemingly sarcastically declaring it on your clothes in all caps is almost assuredly the wrong way.
However, let's not pretend that furthering herself from a scandal by way of wardrobe is a concept that this particular "Olympic Athlete from Russia" came up with all on her own. Nadezhda Sergeeva may have taken the strategy of dressing innocent to an extremely literal extent, but the IOC decided that rocking nondescript attire is the punitive measure for being found guilty of decades of blood doping. By that logic, why wouldn't a worn condemnation of steroids buy her at least a week free of its super strict testing? Maybe the governing body of the Olympic Games should look in the damn mirror, because they set the precedent that what's on the outside can cover up what's on the inside when they let a crime ridden country identify themselves by the name of a popular American rock band as their biggest punishment.
P.S. We've now had a curler and bobsledder get busted. Just goes to show that Russian athletes are just as dumb as they are deceitful since it's pretty common knowledge that ice is nature's steroid.
Ok, ok. Enough is enough. Joke's over. We've had our laughs, so can we please get Zion Williamson out of high school before he legitimately hurts someone? Billy with the buzzcut ain't getting a full ride off his ability to absorb a basketball to the face, so it's kind of important he doesn't get dunked into early onset dementia before taking the SAT's.
In the same vein that it's extremely difficult to practice wrestling moves on your little brother without underestimating your own strength and tombstoning him into Tomorrowland, it's damn near impossible for the future Dukie to showcase his full range of athletic freak without risking his opponent's ability to ride a bicycle without training wheels. The more cautiously you play the more likely you are to get put into a dangerous spot by your own hesitancy, and - by the looks of all the all highlights I've seen - Zion Williamson is mostly playing against stone frozen sophomores who are one more jump scare away from soiling themselves. He's a bull in a china shop, if the most fragile item in that china shop was the self esteem of self conscious high school students.
Can't we just expedite him to college already? Of course I enjoy watching windmills over entire graduating classes, but the Wu-Tang Clan has taught me too damn much for me to fail in suggesting we do it for the children...
For The First Time In Their History, The Devils Made A Deal With The Devil In Nabbing Michael Grabner From The Rangers
At the same time I picked up my phone to the notification that Michael Grabner was a New Jersey Devil I got a call from my brother telling me that Michael Grabner was a New Jersey Devil. Yet, as we quickly talked our way through Ray Shero throwing caution to the trade winds, I still couldn't help but think that I should find a third source. I blame the decades I spent drunk on the Kool-Aid for my delayed reaction time. Clearly watching a young, dynamic player who was drafted ahead of a more prototypical prospect and wears the dreaded number '13' across the back of a recently altered jersey wasn't a stark enough reminder that Lou Lamoriello has taken, among other traditions, his endearingly relatable hatred for all things Rangers across the border. It appears I shouldn't have kept putting off my system upgrade, because hearing that the Devils made a cross-river transaction had my wires crossed in a way that is typically followed by an error message.
After that update did finally go through, however, I found myself giddy at the idea of the Devils adding a proven scorer that does most of his damage at even strength, is a constant threat on the penalty kill, and has the speed to put up his pink slip against the wheels of Miles Wood. I didn't think that Ray Shero was even considering the option of renting, but he certainly checked all the boxes in shopping for a short term fit.
You can pretty easily make the argument that, despite their recent 4-game winning streak, the Devils have played some of their most dominant hockey in losing efforts as of late. Questionable goaltending and defensive gaffs aside, that has a lot to do with them being overly reliant on Taylor Hall to will the puck into the net. Their ability to grind out chances has only been made infuriating by their inability to finish them when the chips are down. Michael Grabner is just one flatfooted defenseman away from a breakaway at any given time, and - needless to say - the Jimmy Hayes/Drew Stafford/Nick Lappin/Blake Pietila combination that he'll likely push out of the lineup is only that dangerous to their own job security.
If absolutely nothing else, what this deal cost them in the future pales in comparison to the message it sends now. Whether or not you've elected to believe in the Devils' ability to compete in a postseason run, this is a vote of confidence from the only person that matters that they'll be there when the gun goes off. I didn't see it coming this early in the rebuild, but Ray Shero just declared it "playoffs or bust" for a team that's outperformed expectations. Never mind reinforcing the depth of the lineup, because that should go a long way in reinforcing trust with a player like Taylor Hall who might legitimately need to spend another long offseason in a padded room if his sensational season ends in early April.
So buckle up Devils' fan, both literally and figuratively. the organization just hit the gas on turning this team into a contender. Whatever "house money" they may have been playing with just got pushed to the center of table, so - regardless of what the forecast was in the fall - they can no longer afford to fold. Especially since letting their heated rivals win the first trade they've ever made with one another would feel almost as shitty as losing the franchise's forward momentum.
The NBA Is Considering Adding Play-In Games To Their Playoff Structure For Reasons Currently Unknown
ESPN- Recent comments from NBA commissioner Adam Silver about tweaking the league's playoff format drew intense media coverage, but sources say there is also some behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference -- to the point that two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office.
The play-in proposal that has generated the most discussion, according to several sources: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game nabbing the seventh spot, sources say. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.
The implementation of a play-in tournament is not imminent. It falls behind the one-and-done rule and perhaps reseeding the playoffs 1-16 regardless of conference in the current reform pecking order. (It could go hand-in-hand with that change, only with one play-in tournament instead of separate brackets for each conference.)
Well, I'll be. The NBA's lack of parity in conjunction with their tanking epidemic has become such a conundrum that it has either stumped the league stupid or encouraged it's most trusted decision makers to start drinking on the job.
I don't want to make it sound like I'm against the idea of a play-in tournament, I just have no idea what a fairly significant alteration would be aimed at solving. I'm not in the demolition business, but I don't think you take a wrecking ball to your foundation unless you have extensive plans to vastly improve it. This feels like going through the trouble of adding an addition to your home just to fill it with a 4th crapper, and the last thing the NBA needs is more shitty series to sit through. I'm a procrastinator so I haven't even gotten started on my list of ways to make the NBA postseason better, but adding even more mediocrity to a viewing experience that is largely mediocre prior to the Conference Finals is already my heavy favorite for "worst case scenario".
Look, I get it. Tanking nearing it's way to becoming a necessity in constructing a truly competitive roster is an issue, but if this would just be an attempt at tricking fringe teams into trying then we've got a much bigger problem, which is that the NBA clearly has no qualms about insulting the intelligence of it's management. If the allure of playing the underdog in a mini/pity playoff where the winners inevitably get mauled by the 1 and 2 seeds has you hesitant to go all-in on a rebuild then you desperately need to replace your organizational architect, not reward him/her with playoff revenue.
Kim Jong-Un, eat your goddamn heart out! Seriously, I haven't seen evil intentions result in such an undeniably hilarious scene since the last time North Korea tested an explosive!
If you watch enough professional sports you come to realize that some franchises - no matter how often they change personnel - are just destined to fail. The harder they try to avoid repeating history, the sillier they end up looking when they inevitably do. I don't know if that phenomenon is one that translates to international competition, but if that's the case then they might as well be considered the North Koreveland Browns.
Seriously, if he's not just a product of a counterproductive environment then how else would you explain our boy Jong Kwang Bom going from proud Olympian to the Wile E. Coyote of the speed skating world with the sound a gunshot that appeared to have been aimed at his achilles? If that forehead-slapping folly wasn't the result of an origin-fulfilling prophecy then it's an all-time coincidence, because acting maliciously and executing laughably while bearing your colors shamelessly as a clear and present danger to no one but yourself makes him the perfect athletic representative for North Korea!
Actress Leslie Jones Was Not A Fan Of Pierre McGuire's Line Of Questioning During The Second Intermission Of The Women's Hockey Final
You know, sometimes I wonder if I am being too hard on noted hockey know-it-all Pierre McGuire. After all, as completely and utterly useless as most of his tidbits happen to be, they are typically intended to inform the audience. It's an audience that - by and large - doesn't give a shit about where some AHL call up went to kindergarten, but it's still knowledge nonetheless. His batting average as an analyst sucks, but - credit to him - he's still up there swinging. In that sense, he should be praised for not keeping his bat on his shoulder due to a couple hundred thousand online insults.
Unfortunately, in the sense that an actress that isn't in tune with his rich history of talking too goddamn much seeing as she probably only watches hockey once every four years can call him out for being a situationally unaware dweeb after no more than one typically cookie cutter intermission interview, those online insults are mostly deserved. If nothing else, by calling an excessively stupid question exactly that, Leslie Jones let me know that not all my negative assessments of Pierre McGuire are based on years of bias.
Obviously it wasn't meant to be malicious, but referencing that time an Olympic athlete's dreams were shattered when that nightmare is potentially only 20 minutes of gameplay away from being relived is dumb enough to be deemed worthy of name calling. Not for nothing, but feeling comfortable enough to start name calling someone after hearing them talk for approximately ten seconds is a massive indictment of their non-operational filter.
I, like most, will forever be confused by the concept of deciding games of the highest significance with a bunch of solo efforts when the participants trained together for years on end to compete in the ultimate team sport. That said, watching the U.S. Women strip their neighbors to the North of the gold medal that had cruelly slipped through their grasp the last two Winter Olympics by out dueling them in a sphincter-clenching skills competition felt like a more justifiable outcome than most provided by way of a breakaway contest.
Maybe that's because it helped to wash away the lingering stink of watching the men woefully exit while getting shutout in a shootout. Maybe it's because it was already well after 2AM and the adrenaline from another overtime period would have had me closing my eyes to the rise of the sun had it not completely stopped my heart by then. Maybe it's because it was a reflection of the game as a whole in being a wildly entertaining back-and-forth affair that gave me a whole new appreciation for the level of non-gender-qualifying skill on both sides of the ice...
Alright, fuck it, the truth is that the ending only felt more fair because I was able to celebrate it. I'm pretty sure that Canada, as a wholly invested country, felt more strained than their goaltender's lower body ligaments when they had a run of dominance that was going on two decades brought to a painstaking end in a universally despised manner.
That, however, doesn't make any of the previous rationalizations any less true. If a hard fought game absolutely has to end in a shootout then, objectively speaking, one that truly encapsulates just how talented and evenly matched the teams are is the best case scenario. Also, if a hard fought game absolutely has to end in a shootout then, subjectively speaking, one that gets America to pay a little more attention to hockey by pandering to our superiority complex and distracting from the fact that Auston Matthews and Co. were forced to watch from home is a better than best case scenario.
Credit to Maggie Rooney, Hilary Knight, the Lamoureux ladies, and the rest of Team USA for bringing home the gold by any means necessary. The exciting and impressive 80+ minute effort they gave in doing so truly made what was an otherwise uninteresting tournament totally worth watching. Time, and money, well spent...
Michael Thomas Is Still Fueled By Grudges, As The "Complete Square" That Is Mike Mayock Just Learned
In most cases I'd say it's beneath a Pro Bowl wideout - whose compiled more catches in his first two seasons than any other player in NFL history - to take aim at pre-draft rankings that seem absolutely laughable in retrospect. However, this is Michael Thomas we are talking about, and it's his unwillingness to let that chip leave his shoulder that's aided both his hyper-competitiveness and his almost immediate rise to the top. So while it doesn't make total sense to criticize Mike Mayock for correctly predicting him to be the 6th wide receiver taken, I'm with him in thinking that you deserve to be called a "complete square" when your prognostications are proven wrong faster than those of a bargain basement tarot card reader. Granted, they may have fallen in line with the foreboding of at least five other NFL GM's, but six wrongs don't make one right. On the contrary, six wrongs make four consecutive rights, because everyone that underestimated the strength, ball skills, versatility, elusiveness, and route running of the prospect who had them all on full display by the first day of his rookie camp currently looks like an L-7 wienie.
I'd never argue that it's easy to predict how each and every young player will develop, but it must have been more difficult than it looked for the only true #1 to race out to such a huge lead that he'd have to sit out a full year and change to let whoever the current #2 is get within sniffing distance. Therefore, I think the sure-handed Saint has earned the right to throw shade towards an "expert" draft analyst who must have gotten too much sun the day he took that #shhhh too seriously and slept on Michael Thomas.
Chiefs O-Lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Wants To Add 'M.D.' To His Nameplate After Graduating Med School
I genuinely hope that the NFL goes against just about every other random, narrow-minded fine/penalty they've administered in hopes of suffocating individuality and attaining complete uniformity amongst their players and allows Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to add 'M.D.' to his nameplate. Simultaneously managing both the physical toll of the most intimidating of trenches in the NFL and the mental toll of the most intimidating of classrooms in med school is a feat that's more than worthy of being recognized. So while it's about as shamelessly obnoxious as a law school grad adding 'Esq.' to his/her signature, what it lacks in humility it more than makes up for in well-deserved pride.
I just wonder if he's spoken with his coaches to find out how they feel about him having to pull double duty on Sunday's. You want to be acknowledged as a medical doctor while on the gridiron then I feel you should have to at least be on call as one of the gridiron's medical doctors. Of course, there's already more than enough staffed physicians irresponsibly skirting the concussion protocol by clearing every athlete that's capable of giving two thumbs up. However, on the off-chance that organized violence churns out patients at a higher rate than usual and they need a helping hand in waving vulnerable players back on to the field then it only makes sense that it be the big old, qualified mitts of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif!
As Curb Your Enthusiasm illustrated, not every doc is sworn to put in work off the clock, but - from an optics standpoint - if you have 'M.D.' stitched into your goddamn back then you might as well be pass blocking in scrubs. Somewhere in the code of ethics has to be a promise to uphold health when easily identified as someone whose proficient in doing so. I don't care what the down-and-distance is, if you absolutely have to pat yourself on the back for having just about the most impressively versatile of resumes then live up to it when put in a situation where the entire range of your expertise is needed the most. After all, we wouldn't want that oath to appear hypocritical instead of hippocratic.
Nikita Kucherov Is Sparing No Feelings In His Never-Ending Quest To Make All Goaltenders Look Stupid
I suppose we shouldn't have expected any less from someone that was able to turn a complete lack of a move into his jaw-dropping signature move, but spicing up a ghosting that gives a goalie's legs less closure than a Tinder conquest is undeniable proof that Nikita Kucherov is the NHL's greatest showman. Being able to repeatedly sell one phantom deke to those whose job is to remain frugal with their movements is impressive enough as is, but the Lightning forward legitimately tantalized one of the best goaltenders in the league into following the puck through the entirety of an obstacle course that - judging by his instant reaction - he knew to be invisible. Appearing to have the puck on a string used to be the most sought after form of in-game wizardry, but Kucherov has successfully waved his wand so many times that the most focused men on the ice are continuously surprised when he doesn't...
And you know what, while I appreciate the show, I pity the guy that once again had to pay the price for our tickets. Poor Braden Holtby. The person who gets fooled twice by the same source is generally supposed to wear the shame, but the creativity of this particular magician truly transcends an overused figure of speech. Not only is there not a right way to play Nikita Kucherov on a breakaway, but there might not even be a way that limits your seemingly inevitable embarrassment. It's either watch the puck intently only to be insanely late when he actually moves it or shoots it, or follow his body only to end up looking like your swatting at a fly while the puck casually glides through your legs. Nelly and Kelly Rowland couldn't even sex up a dilemma that agonizing. It's a catch-22, but the only think you're actually catching is the hook, line, and sinker in a way that would comparatively make a fish out of water feel as if it were in control of the situation.