13) Former Rams’ WR Isaac Bruce got inducted into the Hall of Fame this week; he caught the winning TD pass in Super Bowl XXXIV, my favorite football game ever.
Turns out I saw Isaac Bruce play four years before he played for the Rams, though I didn’t know it at the time.
Fall of 1990, I’m at a junior college game in Los Angeles; Santa Monica College vs West LA Junior College- my sister went to Santa Monica at the time. Really good football, not many fans there watching. The next year, the coach at West LA College went to Memphis State, and took 10 guys from West LA with him, one of whom was Isaac Bruce.
Opening Day of 1995 NFL season, Rams upset the Packers in Green Bay; Isaac Bruce blocked a punt for the Rams that day. I’m sitting in a bar watching on the satellite dish, thumbing thru the Rams’ media guide, reading his biography and it finally dawns on me; Isaac Bruce was playing that day I was at the game in Santa Monica.
1,024 receptions, 91 touchdowns later, he’s a Hall of Famer. Congrats!!!
12) Interesting barroom debate: is Eli Manning a first-ballot Hall of Famer?
He won two Super Bowls, but his regular season W-L record was only .500, the same exact resume as Jim Plunkett, who isn’t in the Hall of Fame at all. Manning played longer than Plunkett (117-117 vs 72-72 regular season record); I’m pretty sure he’ll get in the Hall eventually, but I wouldn’t vote for him the first year he is eligible.
11) Reds 3, Pirates 2:
— Pirates lost their last 12 games in Cincinnati.
— Reds are only 2.5 games behind San Diego in Wild Card race.
— Reds have nine more games with Pittsburgh this season.
10) Tampa Bay swept the Orioles this weekend, outscoring Baltimore 19-2 in innings 7-9. Rays have trailed in 35 of their wins this season, most of any MLB team.
9) Toronto 9, Boston 8:
— Red Sox led 7-2 at one point; they had won 56 games in row when they led by 5+ runs.
— Good news for Boston: Chris Sale is expected to pitch for them Saturday.
8) Rockies 13, Marlins 8— Colorado is 25-9 in its last 34 home games, the best home record in the majors during that time. Rockies scored 34 runs in sweeping this 3-game series.
7) Barry Bonds hit home runs off 449 different pitchers, the most ever; Albert Pujols has homered off of 440 guys, Alex Rodriguez 422.
6) New York 1B Anthony Rizzo declined to get the COVID vaccine, now he’s tested positive for COVID, so he has to sit out while his team is fighting in a pennant race. Maybe its me, but a guy making $16.5M should do everything he can to play as much as he can, and getting vaccinated is the best way to stay healthy, at least that’s what doctors/nurses say.
You know, the smart people.
5) Seattle 2, New York 0— Mariners are 4-9 since they traded closer Kendall Graveman to the Astros; has to be lot of heat on GM Jerry DiPoto.
4) White Sox 9, Cubs 3— Pittsburgh/Arizona are getting only 33% of their runs from home runs, lowest %age in the majors; White Sox are next lowest, at 38%, but they homered three times in the first inning of this game Sunday night.
I have no clue what the Cubs plan is moving forward; for a big market team to go in the tank like this is nonsensical. They’re basically a AAA team right now.
3) Americans wound up winning 39 gold medals at the Olympics, coming in under the 43.5 mark that was the betting line.
2) RIP to Bobby Bowden the great football coach; he passed away at age 91.
— Coach Bowden won 377 games, 2nd-most all-time in D-I.
— He was 377-129-4 as a head coach, 304-97-4 at Florida State
— He was 20-9-1 in bowl games.
— Coach Bowden won two national titles at FSU (1993, 1999)
— He has two sons who coach D-I football.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Phillies, Brewers, Giants. Wild Card: San Diego @ Los Angeles
AL: Rays, White Sox, Astros. Wild Card: Boston @ Oakland