Friday, 5/26 Quick Hitters

A sampling of what’s on my mind this week…

-How great was the Penguins-Senators Game 7 last night? As a sports fan, whether you like hockey or not, you had to appreciate the passion, intensity, and high-level skills displayed as the teams played over 85 minutes of hockey.

-As if there was any doubt, Mike (Doc) Emrick is the best announcer in sports right now and the only one that’s even close is Al Michaels.

-Stanley Cup Finals prediction: Predators in 6 – I hate to go against a red-hot goaltender and Pekka Rinne is playing that well for Nashville.

-Comparing the excitement of the NBA Playoffs thus far to the NHL’s isn’t fair. One sport is fairly unpredictable (hockey) while the Golden State Warriors have played 94 games (not including preseason) and there has been NO doubt in anyone’s mind that they would be back in the NBA Finals for the 3rd straight year. Sports are much better when fans of most teams think they have a chance to compete. The NBA is the poster child for just the opposite.

-LeBron James is the best player since Michael Jordan…and he may be better in fact. Seven straight NBA Finals trips and eight in his career. Amazing.

-NBA Finals prediction: Warriors in 5. They won’t blow a 3-1 lead again this year. MVP: Kevin Durant.

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Sorry LeBron, you aren’t beating the Warriors again this year!

-As you’ve hopefully read earlier this week, I love football and so much look forward to football season. But this year I’m also REALLY excited for college basketball season! My Arizona Wildcats will no doubt be a top 3 team in the nation this season after star forward Rawle Alkins announced his return to school for his sophomore season. On top of that, prized 5* recruit (and supposed lockdown defender) Emmanual Akot reclassified to the 2017 season meaning he’ll be in Tucson a year early. The depth this team will have, assuming everyone stays healthy, is mind-boggling.

-Anything short of a Final Four with this squad is a MAJOR failure…I don’t want to hear excuses. Yes I know some people are questioning Parker Jackson-Cartwright at the point guard position because he’s smallish and doesn’t distribute the basketball as effectively as T.J. McConnell circa-2014-15. Guess what? It shouldn’t matter when the rest of the team is uber-talented. Freshman forward/center DeAndre Ayton will be the best one-and-done recruit in Arizona basketball history…mark it down! And Allonzo Trier will make his case for Pac-12 Player of the Year. A dream season is coming, folks!

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UofA can and WILL win a title with PJC as the starting point guard.

-I got the Wildcats at 14-1 to win next year’s National Championship the other day and I feel damn good about it!

-Oh look – the Cubs aren’t using Kyle Schwarber as a leadoff hitter, have won 4 of 5 games, and are now in 1st place in the National League Central Division. Shocking? Not so much…

-I’ve run my fantasy football league, the ECFFL, for now 21 years…and somehow I find myself 0-20 in winning league championships. The lack of success considering my knowledge of the sport is mind-boggling but that’s not the purpose of this thought. For the first time in our league’s history, the other owners and I have agreed to change part of our starting lineup requirements from 2 RBs and 2 WRs to 1 RB, 2 WRs, and a Flex. We were the one league that never used a flex; guess it was time for us to get with modern fantasy football times. So what strategy should I take when I draft in August? Do I still draft two startable RBs and go from there? Or since it’s a PPR league, the 3 WRs is best? Any guidance would be appreciated…

-Final Thought: What a sad and sorry world we live in when adults and kids can’t attend a pop concert and be safe. Or anyone at any public event at an arena or stadium for that matter. The Manchester bombing on Monday was tragic on so many levels and in my mind, it raises serious concerns for the security of large events in this country and around the world. Just a few years ago, anyone could walk into a sporting event assuming their bags were lightly searched. Since then medal detectors, security wanding, and a clear bag policy has been implemented at most events. Unfortunately many events are still far too vulnerable – even in the non-ticketed areas near an arena or stadium such as what happened in Manchester. I’m afraid this is only the tip of the iceberg; what happens next will result in many more lives lost. While it won’t stop me from attending live sporting events / concerts in the future, it’s safe to say all of us should be on heightened alert at all times in and around stadiums going forward. And that in itself is an incredibly sickening reality.

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