Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the long weekend here…….

— Braves 8, Dodgers 7
Ronald Acuna is the first player EVER with 30+ homers, 60+ stolen bases in same season.
Atlanta scored six runs in 2nd inning, then hung on down the stretch.

— Was making a sandwich in my kitchen the other night, was slicing it on a cutting board when I remembered that I actually made that cutting board in a high school shop class, in 1976. 

I am the least handy person you know, a total klutz with tools, but I survived three years of shop class in high school without losing any fingers or limbs. My shop teacher was the best teacher I had in high school, not even close. 

Guy’s name is Joe Botta; he had tremendous patience, teaching a nerdy kid like me how to do things. We would talk about sports while we worked; one year he and the other shop teacher, Mr Cavotta, hit the football parlay sheets 2-3 weeks in a row— a kid in our class distributed the sheets— his father was a bookie.

Joe Botta was a big Joe Namath fan; Broadway Joe was still playing back then.

Years later, maybe 1999 or so, I’m at a high school football game, and the QB for one of the teams is wearing white shoes, only kid on the field wearing white shoes, just like Joe Namath did. I look at the program, and the kid’s last name is Botta; turns out it was Mr Botta’s son. 

Anyway, with school starting around here next week, wanted to give a shout out to the best teacher I ever had in high school. Thank you, Joe Botta.

— When the NFL season starts, don’t overreact to what happens in weeks 1-2; a 17-game season has its share of twists/turns. 

Not sure why, but was thinking about an old Steelers team this week, turns out it was 1989. In Week 1, they lost 51-0 at home to Cleveland; in Week 2, they lost 41-10 at Cincinnati. No bueno.

People were calling for coach Chuck Noll to quit, that his days were done, but the Steelers rallied to go 9-7, made the playoffs, even won a playoff game, before losing 24-23 at Denver to finish their season. Don’t overreact to the first week or two of the year.

In case you were wondering, Bubby Brister (16), Todd Blackledge (2) started games at QB for the Steelers that season. 

— Utah 24, Florida 11
Utah’s star QB Rising (knee) sat this game out.
Utes’ backup QB threw a 70-yard TD pass on Utah’s first offensive play.
Utes’ #3 QB had a 27-yard TD run late in second quarter.

— Minnesota 13, Nebraska 10
Gophers kicked a 47-yard FG at the gun for the comeback win.
Minnesota tied game 10-10 on a 13-yard TD pass with 2:32 left to play.
Gophers were +3 in turnovers (4-1); they were outgained, 295-251. 

— NC State 24, UConn 14
Wolfpack outgained UConn, 364-273
Virginia transfer QB Armstrong ran for 95 yards and 2 TD’s, threw for 155 more.

— JT Daniels is the quarterback at Rice this year; what a journey he is having:

2018-19— USC— He left high school early to play for the Trojans.
2020-21— Georgia— He wound up backing up Stetson Bennett, won a national title.
2022— West Virginia— He got benched midway thru the season.
2023— Rice

Six years, four schools; he can write a hell of a book. 

Daniels’ Owls visit the Texas Longhorns this week; it is the third time he’s played in Austin, with three different teams.

— NFL Trend of the Day— last three years, Atlanta Falcons were 2-8-1 ATS as home favorites.

— New England claimed QB Matt Corral on waivers from Carolina; Corral was a good QB at Ole Miss, he played in his team’s bowl game his last year there and screwed up his ankle, which hurt his draft status, but now he’ll be backing up Mac Jones in Foxboro.

— Angels put six players on waivers this week, basically giving them away; Thursday they lost five of the players- no one put a bid in on OF Randall Grichuk. 

Cleveland took three of the guys: P Lucas Giolito, relievers Reynaldo Lopez, Matt Moore.

Cincinnati took OF’s Hunter Renfroe from the Angels and Harrison Bader from New York.

Seattle picked up reliever Dominic Leone from Anaheim. 

The moves save the Angels $5.7M in salary.

— Milwaukee Brewers signed 3B Josh Donaldson to a minor league deal.

— Detroit 4, New York 3
Anthony Volpe’s 3-run homer in 9th inning tied game 3-3
Gleyber Torres’ throwing error allowed winning run to score for Detroit. 

— Marlins 6, Nationals 1
First four guys in Miami’s lineup went 8-19, with 5 runs scored, 4 RBI

— Since All Star break, Cubs are 9-1 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.

— Pro Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt passed away this week, at age 91.

Working with head coach Tom Landry and GM Tex Schramm, Brandt helped turn the Dallas Cowboys from an expansion team in 1960 into a perennial league power.

Brandt helped revolutionize the NFL’s scouting industry by using computers and algorithms into the player evaluation process, long before that was a thing to do.

Brandt left no stone unturned when looking for players; he was one of the first NFL talent evaluators to take historically black colleges and universities seriously as sources of talent— Dallas wound up with Bob Hayes, Everson Walls and Too Tall Jones from HBCU’s.

Even in his 80’s, Brandt was active on Twitter, sharing ideas. 

RIP, sir. 

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.