13) Quick story to start this week off:
Long, long time ago, my junior year in high school, we had a good basketball team. Third or fourth game of the year, we play a rival school that is also supposed to be really good, but with 2:00 left in the first half, we led 33-4. It was tremendous. 33. to. 4.
Other team scores last seven points of the half; we’re up 33-11 in a game with no shot clock and no 3-pointers— it is December, 1975. Our coach was NOT happy.
The guy spent the whole halftime screaming about those seven points; if I remember right, the final was 68-44, something like that. An easy win; halftime should’ve been a positive time.
We wound up winning the league in miraculous fashion on the last day of the season, but on that December night, I learned a lot about coaching, about how being too negative can turn kids off pretty quickly. Two of the juniors on that team wouldn’t play the next year, when they would’ve been starters. Finished 8-11 the next season. No bueno.
12) Really good article on ESPN.com about the Cleveland Browns’ front office and how messed up it has been since Jimmy Haslam bought the team. Go read it; long article, but interesting.
Trivia: Haslam and former senator Bob Corker were roommates at U of Tennessee.
11) Sometimes things that help teams win are things that have NOTHING to do with that team.
For instance, the Cleveland Browns drafted Johnny Manziel because thats who Haslam wanted them to draft; the GM wanted Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks.
Cooks play WR for the Rams now, will play in the Super Bowl Sunday, all because the Browns’ owner meddled and demanded they take Manziel.
10) Iowa State has come a long way this season; they’re 15-5, 4-3 in the Big X; last year, Cyclones went 13-18, 4-14 in league- they weren’t favored in any of their Big X games last year. None.
9) Home teams won nine of ten games in the SEC-Big X challenge; Iowa State was only road team to win- they won at Ole Miss.
They extended the SEC-Big X challenge six years, so it must get good TV ratings.
8) Cincinnati 72, Temple 68— Bearcats were down 35-25 at halftime, then by 14 in second half, but rallied to win and move to 7-1 in AAC.
7) Georgetown 89, St John’s 78— Patrick Ewing was a great defensive player, but his Hoya teams play fast, are fun to watch. Average total in Georgetown’s Big East games is 169; now all Ewing has to do is win (3-4) some more of those games.
6) Purdue 73, Michigan State 63— Boilermakers never trailed; they won’t play a better game this season, ending Michigan State’s 22-game Big 14 win streak.
5) No idea who the guy is, but the analyst on the Indiana State-Illinois State game Sunday went on a brief rant near the end of the game, about how “….if we put a man on the moon, how come we can’t grow hair on a bald man’s head?” Briefly stunning, kind of funny and a fair question.
Turns out the guy’s name is Doyle; hope CBS moves him up in the analyst hierarchy.
4) Kirk Cousins makes $28M a year; Tom Brady makes $20.5M; either Robert Kraft is paying Brady off under the table, circumventing the salary cap, or Brady’s agent is the dumbest person in New England. How is Brady not one of the top five highest-paid QB’s?
3) Sunday of President’s Day weekend should be fun; college hoop, Daytona 500 and the NBA All-Star Game. That covers the demographics of just about everyone in America, right?
In case you’re wondering, first spring training baseball game is February 21; the first full day of games is February 23.
2) I watch a ton of sports on TV; basketball, baseball, football. Can’t remember the last time I watched the Pro Bowl, except a few minutes in a bar last year because Jared Goff was playing. Understood that people bet on the game and therefore have an interest, but there is nothing in sports that interests me less than the Pro Bowl, except soccer. Don’t like soccer.
1) Tip of the cap to my mailman, who trudged through snowy lawns all week delivering the mail to our neighborhood. Job can’t be much fun in the winter; cold as hell, windy, lot of snow on the ground, but his work is appreciated.