NOTE: I wrote this story last year before the articles were posted on 1580TheFanatic.com. I’ve updated a few parts since then…but a year later, I couldn’t agree more with all of these suggestions!
Don’t get me wrong – sports are my world…but they’re far from perfect. A few tweaks here and there might make all the difference. While I’m glad the Suns got the #1 pick (and yes, I’ll eventually pay off my Daily Blender Carl’s Jr. bet based on that), watching their obvious tanking from February onward was mildly disgusting. So what can be done to remedy the situations? Here are some solutions:
We have college football games that count starting on Saturday and this weekend features NFL preseason games worth watching (as most of the starters play at least a half). Finally!
-Looks like I’ll have to calm down on my Blaine Gabbert as the Cardinals’ starting QB later this season. Earlier this week coach Bruce Arians selected Drew Stanton as Carson Palmer’s backup. I’m still standing by my prediction that Gabbert surpasses Stanton on the depth chart sooner than later.
-I will say this for the record: I may not be a Drew Stanton fan but I’d MUCH rather have him in a pinch than either of Blake Bortles or former ASU QB Brock Osweiler. So would Jacksonville and Cleveland I’d bet.
-Osweiler’s contract from the Texans before the 2016 season might go down as one of the greatest con jobs in recent memory. It’s safe to say his skills and ability to read a defense have eroded. Now that Browns want to get rid of him…I have a feeling Brock’s tenure in the NFL is winding down.
-You know the sports season is rough when I can truly say that watching players I’ve never heard of at Wimbledon is somewhat entertaining. I’m going with Marin Cilic to upset and win the Men’s Singles and Caroline Wozniacki on the Women’s side.
-Then again, what the hell do I know about tennis…?
-Anything Wimbledon > next Monday’s Home Run Derby. I have always cared little about it and sold my tickets when the competition was here in 2011.
-I used to get excited for the MLB All-Star Game but now that means nothing since it doesn’t determine home field advantage. And speaking of, for those who thought the AL winning last season hurt the Cubs, please note how Kyle Schwarber got to DH four times instead of three. Who led off the 10th inning of Game 7 with a hit? Exactly.
FIRST DOWN – NBA Salaries are WAYYYY out of control and it’s going to get worse.
Who the hell came up with the idea to overpay the heck out of EVERY player? JJ Redick got $23 million on a one year deal from the 76ers. Paul Millsap got $30 million annually from the Nuggets. Blake Griffin will receive $35 million for each of the next five years from the Clippers. And Steph Curry will make more than $40 million each year from the Warriors. Seriously where does it end? Are we on pace to see $100 million annual contracts by 2030?
The solution to this is a difficult one – now that the bar has been raised, there’s no way to reform this salary structure. The NFL and NHL are two sports with a relatively fair salary cap and parity generally reigns supreme in both sports. In the NBA and MLB, a luxury tax is the only penalty for teams spending wildly. If your team has an owner with more money than he or she knows what to do with, paying the luxury tax doesn’t affect them whatsoever. And in the NBA especially, parity is completely non-existent.
The moral of the story here folks: raise your kids with a basketball in their hand. Even a veteran’s minimum contract for ONE YEAR will be more money than most of us every make combined in our lifetimes.
A round-about of what’s happening in the sports world + some 2nd half of 2017 predictions for you in today’s quick hitters:
-So the latest rumor in NBA circles is that the Suns will meet with free agents Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap this weekend. Griffin is the more flashy name but considering his injury history, I’m all for Phoenix bringing in the steady, yet under-appreciated Millsap instead.
-Speaking of wacky NBA moves, Chris Paul to the Rockets? James Harden had an MVP-type season as the point guard so let’s bring in arguably the best ball distributor in the league? I don’t get it at all for Houston. This doesn’t make them closer to beating Golden State…let’s be honest. Continue reading “Friday, 6/30 Quick Hitters”→
FIRST DOWN – The NBA needs to make an unprecedented change. Yes, I’m advocating for something that’s never been done in the history of professional sports (at least in the modern era). It’s time to completely shake up the way the league formats its playoffs. What I advocate is the elimination of conferences when it comes to seeding. After seeing the Western Conference increase its strength on draft night with the Timberwolves acquisition of Jimmy Butler, enough is enough. The West as a whole is much stronger than the Eastern Conference and somehow the playing field needs to be leveled out. So here is what I would do:
The top 16 records qualify for the playoffs no matter which conference.
Seed them 1-16 based on record – no preference is given to division winners (i.e. divisions are in place just for scheduling purposes during the regular season).
Play each round as a 7 game series as is the case currently.
Let the best team win.
If we get a Spurs-Warriors NBA Finals, so be it. I think fan excitement would be off the charts; Golden State vs. Cleveland / Boston wouldn’t be a given for the 2018 NBA Finals. Would it solve the problem of super teams? Maybe not entirely…but in this case it’s all about leveling the playing field.
-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.
My weekly wrap-up of all that’s good and not-so-good in the sports world:
-Here’s the winning trifecta for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. You’re welcome in advance. 1st: (4) Always Dreaming – should win by daylight if he runs similarly to the Kentucky Derby. 2nd: (2) Cloud Computing – Been firing bullet workouts since his 3rd place in the Wood Memorial and I’m a big Javier Castellano fan. 3rd: (6) Gunnevera – Dismiss jockey Mike Smith at your own risk (who takes over for Castellano) on this major closer.