First of all, I’ve received some negative feedback regarding my stance from Wednesday’s mailbag about athletes not standing for the national anthem. I said that if an owner / coach was willing to condone the players’ decision not to stand, then I was fine with it.
Personally, I would not be one of those owners / coaches. I would absolutely FORCE the players on my team to stand and properly acknowledge the anthem in honor of those who have given up so much, including their lives for this country. I’m all for creative expression and freedom as long as it’s not purposefully disrespectful. In this case, it’s a slippery slope.
In light of the current political turmoil, I think we’ll see more and more players continue to kneel, sit, and not regard the importance of our anthem. I hope those players aren’t on any of my favorite teams. Please take a stand owners and coaches to prohibit these acts!
Which is worth more: the amount you’re paying for this column or Brandon Knight’s current trade value?
Answer: They’re both the same…ZERO!
-While that may have been a lousy joke, sadly the statement above is true. Knight is likely done for the 2017-18 season with a torn ACL suffered in a Miami Beach pick-up game last week. I would be very surprised if you ever see him in a Suns uniform again.
-But hey, at least the Suns have a shot at LeBron James next offseason (250-1 odds per BetOnline.ag)!
-An underrated signing to keep an eye on for Cardinals fans this season: Kicker Phil Dawson. Chandler Catanzaro was serviceable for Arizona the last three seasons but missed a staggering 10 field goals and 9 extra points combined in 2015-16. Dawson, despite being 42 years old and in his 19th NFL season, is about as reliable as they come. He’s only missed TEN extra points in his entire career and continues to make field goals at an 85%+ clip. Good move by Cardinals’ management here.
A sampling of what’s on my mind in the sports world this week…
-Bob Stoops leaving Oklahoma doesn’t surprise me in the least. The timing of the announcement, after spring practice, and in early-June is stunning. While his teams have been successful, his penchant of choking in bowl games and not playing for a national title in recent years had to be taxing. OU was never going to let him go…but he needs a fresh start. I don’t believe for a second that he’s completely done coaching.
-With that said I’ll give you two predictions for “Big Game Bob” and his next stop: Tennessee Volunteers Chicago Bears
Both jobs will likely be open after the 2017 season.
-Last thought on Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley will be a fine coach for the Sooners going forward. Despite being only 33 years old, Riley was likely to get a major head coaching job within the next two years as is. Makes one wonder if Stoops was quietly pushed to step aside so Riley wouldn’t be tempted to look elsewhere?
-Wait – you aren’t that person who thought Cleveland had a chance to beat Golden State this year, are you? If so, you do realize all of the reasons why the Warriors will dispatch of the Cavs in 5 games or less:
Revenge from 2016’s Golden State choke job.
Kevin Durant is now on the Warriors and he’s easily a top 5 player in the league.
The Cavs have no credible bench – then again they do have former UofA standouts Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Derrick Williams!
Do I really need to keep going?
-So now that the Finals are over after Game 1, how can I bet that the Warriors and Cavaliers will play again in the 2018 Finals? And this folks, the lack of any unpredictability whatsoever is why I’m not a huge NBA guy…
-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.
Some quick hitters before I get into my first UofA football breakdown of 2017:
Go Ducks tonight! (For what it’s worth, I’m also picking the Penguins to win their Game 7 in Washington).
Jake Arrieta, the 2015 Cy Young Winner, has a 5.35 ERA in 7 starts thus far this season. It’s a contract year for him and I expect that he’ll command a 5 year, $125 million deal or thereabouts. I advocated on Twitter this offseason that I hoped the Cubs would’ve traded him but to no avail. If I was a GM, there’s no way I’d give Arrieta anywhere near that kind of money as he hasn’t been that sharp for the last year or so. I would be shocked if Theo Epstein and company pays Arrieta that kind of monster contract, especially with the young hitters up for new deals in the coming years. With John Lackey also a free agent in 2017, I’m thinking the Cubs 2018 rotation will look A LOT different than it does today.
Here are 5 sleepers to win the unofficial 5th major, THE PLAYERS this weekend:
Justin Thomas (30-1), Brooks Koepka (36-1), Paul Casey (48-1), Martin Kaymer (68-1), Matt Kuchar (70-1)
Now let’s talk about my favorite sport, college football, and the team I’ve seen play 115 times in person (yes I’ve counted), the Arizona Wildcats…