Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) Definition of a bad day: Sunday, a gambler placed $1M on the Rams over 13.5 points in the first half (+115). Rams botched the snap on the extra point after their second TD- they didn’t score again that quarter, led 13-10 at the half. Under by half a point.

Guy lost $869,500 because they botched the snap on a PAT, only time they did it all season. 

12) Definition of a good day: last fall, Juan Soto turned down a 13-year. $350M contract offer from the Washington Nationals. Soto can’t be a free agent for another three years; if he waits until then for a new contract, he’ll be expecting to break the bank then. 

11) Speaking of the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman retired this week, after a 16-year career; he hit 284 homers in his career, helped Washington win the 2019 World Series. 

10) Used to discuss/argue with a friend of mine, what makes a QB great?

I thought about this a lot; concluded that lot of the things that make a QB great are things you and I cannot see, its behind the scenes stuff.
— Is the QB a good teammate? Do his teammate believe in him?
— Does he do a little extra on study/prep work?

Texas basketball coach Chris Beard says “3:30 guys don’t win championships” His point is that players improve the most with the work they do before/after practices.

— Physical skills are obviously important; toughness is probably more important.
— When the offense gets in the huddle, 80-yards from the game-winning score, do his teammates believe that QB will lead them to a score? That seems to be the biggest thing.

Arizona Cardinals/Kyler Murray are having problems; it is unclear what they are exactly, but Murray’s body language during games isn’t good. You don’t seem him talking to teammates on the sideline very much. The QB is a leader, but the other players won’t follow unless they believe in the leader.

9) In college basketball, I think a team should have to finish at least .500 in their league to make the NCAA Tournament; you lose more than you win in league play, how do you get to compete for a national title? 

1992 Iowa State Cyclones finished 5-9 in the Big 8, was still a 10-seed in March Madness, the worst conference record for any at-large team in the NCAA Tournament.

8) Three weeks to go in the Big Sky regular season, only one team has less than four losses; Montana State leads at 12-2, two games ahead of Weber State/Southern Utah/Northern Colorado. Going to be a very good conference tournament.

7) NFL teams that could have a new starting quarterback next year:
— Houston
— Washington
— Tampa Bay
— San Francisco
— Pittsburgh
— Indianapolis
— Denver

Deshaun Watson will be the first domino that causes the other ones to start falling.

6) We talked on Monday about Brycen Hopkins catching four passes for 47 yards in the Super Bowl, after being the Rams’ fifth tight end to play this season. Turns out that Hopkins’ dad is Brad Hopkins, who played against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV for Tennessee.

Brad Hopkins played offensive tackle for 13 years with the Oilers/Titans. 

5) This season in the NFL, there were an average of 11.8 penalties per game, for 102.1 yards. During the playoffs, penalties dropped to 9.4 per game, for 75.4 yards.

4) Super Bowl TV ratings were up 14% this year from last year. 

3) NFL is very good at staying in the spotlight; March 3-6, the rookie combine will be on the NFL Network, in primetime. If you like to watch guys run the 40-yard dash or do shuttle drills, you’ll enjoy watching that.

2) Cincinnati Bearcats gave football coach Luke Fickiell $5M a year thru 2028; Cincinnati is moving up to the Big X, with Texas/Oklahoma moving to the SEC. 

1) I went to college at UAlbany, spent lost of time in the campus center there, where there used to be lot of protests. Various things, some more serious than others. I was more interested in watching game shows in the TV lounge, but there were a lot of protests.

Prices in the vending machines were lower than most places; when they tried to raise the prices once, a protest happened. Politicial issues, protests. Labor issues, protests. You get the idea.

One day I’m walking past a protest and it occurred to me; there was a core of people who seemed to be at all of these protests, like they were professional protestors, so from that point on, always looked for those people and sure enough, most times they were there.

Wonder what the going rate was for being a protestor? 

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.