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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Year-end observations and musings

1.  Oh to be Jaromir Jagr and still playing the game you love at the age of 44.

2.  Saw parts of the Kentucky-North Carolina game.  There was a player out there who had some Michael Jordan-esque moves.  Problem for the Tar Heels was that he played for Kentucky.  Name:  Malik Monk.

3.  Bucks have a 6'11 point guard whose last name you cannot pronounce or spell, but he's one of the top players in the NBA.  His name:  Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

4.  If the FCS has an eight-team playoff, why shouldn't the FBS have one? 

5.  Joel Embiid has been worth the wait.  Plays like a combination of Olajuwon and Chamberlain.  Problem is that the 76ers' guards play like another Chamberlain -- Neville.

6.  Dak Prescott is having an amazing year.  No one can take that away from him.  I wonder whether Carson Wentz would have had a similar year if he played behind that line with that running back and those receivers. 

7.  Will someone call the Federal Trade Commission and try to prod the NCAA and SEC to break up the Alabama Crimson Tide?

8.  Gender bias is apparent in sports, period.  Otherwise, how can you explain the relative lack of coverage of the UConn women's basketball team (or, for that matter, my listing this eighth).

9.  Does the English Premier Soccer League give us the rock star athletes like the NBA?  Just asking.  Games are fun to watch, and the crowds are excellent.

10.  If Theo Epstein were to pull off a third miracle after Boston and Chicago, what would the world do for him, give him?  Pretty amazing feats, what with all the attention in both cities.

11.  Will the Warriors smoke everyone in the post-season or will the playoffs expose their lack of depth?  Team isn't as deep as last season, and while that does not matter in the regular season, it might in the playoffs.  I would do everything to pry Nerlens Noel from the 76ers as a back-line stopper on defense.  The kid has game.

12.  Westown School in Pennsylvania has two or three future NBA players on its front line, one of whom has the second largest wingspan in all of organized basketball.  Question is how those players make their way to a league that isn't usually known for its sports.  Schools are good, and perhaps for some boys' hoops is an exception.

13.  Thankfully the Carr football family has found some good fortune.  Older brother David had a great college career and tons of talent, only to have the Texans' o-line perform so badly that he turned himself into a tackling dummy and didn't have the career forecast for him.  Younger brother Derek has found a great situation in Oakland and, as Jon Gruden predicted, is off to a great start in his career.

14.  Will this be Andy Reid's year to win a Super Bowl?  The guy is an excellent coach, yet his team's have been marred by the occasional Achilles' heel over the years.  Last week's failure to beat the Titans at home in the frigid weather revealed that Big Red's team cannot always get it done in the clutch.  It's a long season, and New England and Oakland look formidable.

15.  Saw that Jimmy Rollins signed a minor-league deal with the SF Giants.  Methinks that he and his former teammate, Carlos Ruiz, will manage in the Majors some day.  J-Roll could add a veteran presence and clutch bat to Bruce Bochy's bench.  Speaking of former Phillies, someone should sign Chase Utley.  Guy is a flat-out gamer.

16.  What goes around comes around.  During their great years from say 2007-2011, the Phillies were so popular that they sold out several hundred consecutive games at Citizens Bank Park and that the Nationals and Pirates both advertised in Philadelphia for fans to visit their stadiums during that era.  Phillies' fans got so confident that they waved a banner in D.C. that exclaimed "Citizens Bank Park South."  How the mighty have fallen.

17.  Ivy League men's hoops just aren't the same as they were when Penn and Princeton ruled and that rivalry was riveting and everything.  Sorry, Harvard, but you have taken the fun out of things.

Happy Holidays!


Blogger haphar said...

I believe there is actually less pressure in the Ivy League today. It used to be torture to watch the games against the other Ivies. A loss often meant your season was done. Since Cornell stepped in (before Harvard) everyone seems to lose a couple of games to undefined opponents.

Back in 71-72, a great Princeton team lost a game to Dartmouth (with the other James Brown). It automatically dropped them to the NIT. No chance for season ending win over Penn to tie things. Then they lost the NIT after beating Bobby Kight's first Indiana team because a conductor on NJ Transit broke Brian Taylor's finger while trying to remove his foot from a seat. Penn got wiped out by Villanova on their way to the NCAA finals. Princeton beat both Villanova (Howard Porter, Chris Ford) and North Carolina (Bobby Jones, Bob MacAdoo, George Karl) during the season. Still bitter 46 years later.

By the way thanks for your blog. With Jon Solomon in retirement, you're now the undisputed best in the business.

5:37 PM  

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