13) One thing that is understated in sports is how tough pro football players are; it is a violent game where guys get hurt a lot, but I had never heard of someone having a fractured throat.
Lions’ center Frank Ragnow fractured his throat during Sunday’s loss to Green Bay, but he finished the game. His breathing is fine, but he has been told not to speak until doctors figure out what’s up with his throat.
A “fractured throat” used to be known as a “laryngeal fracture”; Ragnow couldn’t make line calls Sunday after the injury, but he kept snapping the ball and finished the game. Tough guy.
12) There is an increasing trend in college football; it is not a problem really, just disappointing, I guess. Of the top 50 QB recruits from 2014-18, 171 of those kids (68.4%) have either quit, transferred or changed positions. If a young QB ain’t starting, he’ll likely be departing.
Speaking of which, Temple QB Anthony Russo will transfer from the Owls to Michigan State.
11) Virginia Tech opted not to play in a bowl game this season, ended their streak of playing in a bowl for 27 straight seasons, which was the longest active streak in the country. Tech had a ton of issues with COVID this fall; 8 of their 10 full-time coaches, 75% of their players were touched by the virus.
10) ESPN’s Monday Night Football analyst Louis Riddick will interview for NFL GM jobs; he has already interviewed with the Houston Texans for their general manager position.
9) FOX football analyst Chris Spielman is leaving the network to become an advisor for the Detroit Lions, where he played linebacker. Spielman’s brother is GM of the Minnesota Vikings.
8) High school basketball coaches in Texas can coach their teams for as much as nine months every year, by having them sign up for “phys ed” classes. Very unusual.
7) Scheduling-on-the-fly is a very 2020 thing. Gonzaga/Iowa hooked up for a basketball game this Saturday; should be a good one. #1-ranked Gonzaga hasn’t played since December 2nd.
6) Six kickers have tried a field goal or PAT for the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, which is the most by any NFL team in the last 50 years. Jaguars are also the only team in NFL history to have a different kicker try a field goal or PAT five weeks in a row.
5) Gordon Hayward recently signed a 4-year, $120M contract with Charlotte Hornets; he broke a bone in his right (shooting) hand during a preseason game Monday night. Hayward’s return apparently will be based on how much pain he can tolerate, which doesn’t sound good.
4) Baseball stuff:
— Giants are signing P Anthony DeSclafani to a 1-year, $6M deal.
3) Seattle Mariners are committing to a 6-man pitching rotation for next season, which is something that is done in Japanese baseball.
2) 48-year old Manny Ramirez is playing in the Australian Baseball League this winter; those games usually show up somewhere on TV. Might be interesting to see if Ramirez can still hit.
1) Was watching an old movie late Tuesday night; Three Days of the Condor, starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway. Redford plays a CIA employee who stumbles into criminal activity; good movie, with two actors playing smaller roles who are better known for other things.
— Russell Johnson is in this movie briefly; he had played the Professor on Gilligan’s Island, 7-8 years before this movie was made.
— Richard Sanders also had a small role; years later, he would play Les Nessman in the comedy WKRP in Cincinnati.