Friday’s Den: Random stuff on a chilly autumn day

Seattle 28, Cardinals 21
— First time in six games Arizona scored less than 30 points.
— Arizona ran the ball only 18 times for 57 yards.
— Redbirds had only two plays of 20+ yards.
— Arizona trailed at halftime in seven of its ten games.

— Seattle ran ball for 165 yards, threw for 182; good balance.
— Seattle is 4-1 ATS as a home favorite this year.
— Seahawks scored a safety with 9:12 left when they led 23-21.
— Both teams converted over 50% of their third down plays.

— 42 years ago Thursday (today as I type this), November 19, 1978, was the Miracle of the Meadowlands, when the Giants had the Eagles beaten at home, but instead of taking a knee, they tried a handoff, fumbled and Eagles DB Herm Edwards (yes, him) picked the ball up and scored the touchdown that propelled the Eagles into the playoffs that year.

The play changed the NFL forever, because everyone takes a knee now at the end of games, and they started doing it pretty much right after that day.

As a lifelong Rams fan, though, the game was significant to me for other reasons; Philly made the Super Bowl two years after that, but their coach quit after the ’82 season and became a TV commentator, and a good one, doing both pro/college games. 

In 1997, after 14 years on TV, Dick Vermeil became coach of the Rams, and won the Super Bowl in his third year with the then-St Louis Rams.

The Giants’ coach on that day in 1978 was John McVay, who went 14-23 in New Jersey but got fired after the ’78 season. You may have heard of his grandson; current Rams’ coach Sean McVay. 

— Back to the present; the Los Angeles Rams have won their last 31 games when they led at halftime, longest current streak in the NFL.

— Bad news from the Bay Area: Klay Thompson tore his right achilles, is done for this season. Thompson was just about done with a 17-month rehab from his left ACL being torn. He will be 31 years old in February; we wish him well in rehabbing this injury.

Warriors are trading for Kelly Oubre Jr., to try and fill part of the void left by Thompson’s injury. 

— This is very 2020; Tulane played its 10th football game, before Utah played any games. 

— LaMelo Ball got drafted 3rd Wednesday night, by the Hornets; hard to believe that its been over three years since I saw him play in an AAU game in Las Vegas. 

July 2017, I’m at the Cashman Center in downtown Vegas, where there are seven courts under one roof at an Adidas tournament. I’m taking notes for this site, oblivious to what may or may not happen, I just knew there were a whole lot of games going to be played.

There is a main court, where the game was broadcast on the Interweb and there was a big video screen up on the wall showing the action, so I hunkered down by that court, and then noticed that the 4th and last game of the night would be LaVar Ball’s team, with his youngest son on it. 

Didn’t think much about it at the time, but at the end of the first game, the bleachers were packed with kids, tons of kids. AAU games usually have some college coaches and a handful of friends/family, but there are like 1,000 people milling around, it was crazy. 

So it turns out that LaVar Ball’s team was playing a team from South Carolina, which had a really good player named Zion Williamson on it— you may have heard of him. I was sitting next to a college coach, asked him who he thought would win— he said Zion’s team by 30-40.

So LaMelo’s team presses the whole game, takes a ton of 3’s, while all Zion does on offense is be an outlet against the press- they’d lob the ball to him and he’d find an open teammate. The game was way closer than expected, ended like 110-95, something like that.

Saw the boxscore the next day; Ball’s team took 46 3-pointers, Zion’s team took one— one!!!!

No idea if LaMelo Ball will be a good pro; he can shoot/pass, no clue if he has any other basketball skills. His career has been extremely dysfunctional— he didn’t finish his high school career, never played in college, has already played pro ball in two countries.

Can he be part of a professional team? Can he deal with sitting on the bench? Will he work his butt off to improve his craft? I’m not saying he can’t/won’t, its just that no one knows yet, but being drafted by Michael Jordan’s team is a pretty hefty endorsement. 

— One of the weirder things that day was that Patrick Ewing was there, recruiting for his team at Georgetown. He is sitting right by this court, with hundreds of kids who love basketball buzzing around, and Ewing gets up and goes to the concession stand. Not one kid says a word to him— he is one of the 50 greatest players ever!!!

But hey, there’s Lonzo Ball over there, scrolling thru his iPhone. Kids know who he is. Ewing was probably glad no one bugged him, but it was strange. 

— Knicks created $40M in salary cap space Thursday, when they cut six players. 

— Random knowledge gained from watching too much TV: when Joe Buck was a much younger person, he was a Houston Oilers fan. He was talking about Colts’ coach Frank Reich and the great comeback Reich led against the Oilers in the playoffs, when he played for Buffalo. 

— Korean World Series is going on this week; five teams make their playoffs, but the #1 seed gets a bye straight to the World Series, so the NC Dinos had 16 days off before the series started. Not sure that’s a good thing. Dinos and Doosan Bears split the first two games of the series.

Tulsa 30, Tulane 24 OT:
— Tulsa ran an INT back 96 yards for the game-winning TD in OT.
— Game was scoreless at halftime; Tulane led 14-0 with 4:00 left in 3rd quarter.
— Tulane took a 21-14 lead with 1:38 left in game.
— Tulsa tied game on a 37-yard TD pass at the gun in regulation.
— Tulsa outgained Tulane 522-302, converted 10-21 third down plays.


Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.