I feel kind of stupid posting this article about sports on such a depressing day for our country, but this is what I do, and maybe it can provide some distraction for a couple of minutes.
Prayers go out to police and military who are trying to keep the peace. We appreciate you.
13) I mention this every now and then because I’m fascinated by how nomadic some football coaches are. This is the career path of Jedd Fisch, new coach of the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats.
1997: PK Yonge HS (Florida)— Defensive coordinator
1998: New Jersey Red Dogs, Arena League— WR coach
1999-2000: U of Florida— Graduate assistant
2002-03: Houston Texans— Defensive quality control
2004-07: Baltimore Ravens— Offensive assistant
2008: Denver Broncos— WR coach
2009-10: U of Minnesota— Offensive coordinator/QBs coach
2010: Seattle Seahawks— QBs coach
2011-12: Miami, FL— Offensive coordinator/QBs coach
2013-14: Jacksonville Jaguars— Offensive coordinator
2015-16: U of Michigan— Passing game coordinator/QB-WR coach
2017: UCLA— Offensive coordinator/QBs coach, then interim head coach
2018-19: Los Angeles Rams— Assistant offensive coordinator
2020: New England Patriots— QBs coach
The guy must be great at packing. Now he makes $2.2M a year.
12) Quite a stat about the Green Bay Packers this year:
— Aaron Rodgers threw 48 TD passes.
— Green Bay’s punter punted 46 times.
11) Stephen Curry missed a foul shot the other night, ending a streak of 80 consecutive makes; last time an NBA player had made 80+ free throws in a row was Dirk Nowitzki, in 2010.
10) Washington QB Alex Smith is just the 5th quarterback in NFL history to lead three different teams to the playoffs; Chiefs, 49ers were the others.
9) Random fact of the day: More people live in DeKalb County (Georgia) than in the whole state of Wyoming.
8) QB JT Daniels will come back to play for the Georgia Bulldogs next fall.
7) OF Robbie Grossman banks $10M for two years from Detroit. The 8-year veteran has a .350 career on-base percentage. Detroit will be his fourth MLB team.
6) Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator Chan Gailey resigned/got fired Wednesday, meaning Miami will have its third OC in three years next season. Continuity helps NFL teams, especially where young QB’s are concerned.
5) NFL teams who played rookies the most snaps on offense this season:
1,130— Chargers, Cowboys
4) PGA Tour starts Thursday, with the Sentry Tournament of Champions, so daytime TV gets a little bit better on Thursdays/Fridays.
3) Wednesday would’ve been Ralph Branca’s 94th birthday; Branca pitched in the major leagues for 12 years, going 88-68, mostly for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He made three All-Star teams, but is best known for giving up a walk-off homer to Bobby Thomson in a 1951 NL playoff game.
2) My dad grew up in New York City, was a huge Brooklyn Dodger fan; when I was a young person, I knew way too much about the Brooklyn Dodgers, seeing how they moved to LA three years before I was born. There is a still a ceramic dish on my kitchen wall, painted with the field at Ebbets Field on it.
1) One of the coolest things I ever did was in 1990 or so, on a weekday afternoon. Ralph Branca was doing an appearance at Mohawk Mall in Niskayuna, a mall that no longer exists. So I call my dad and tell him to get ready, I was taking him somewhere, but didn’t tell him where.
It was eight miles from my dad’s house to Mohawk Mall; on the way, I tell him we’re going to meet Ralph Branca, and confirm if all the stories he told me over the years were true.
We get to the mall, and Mr Branca is sitting at a card table, not many people around, which was perfect. I introduce my dad to Mr Branca, and then stepped back and watched them talk for the next 15-20 minutes, about Ebbets Field, the Dodgers, Ernie Lombardi, old baseball stuff. It was tremendously tremendous.
He confirmed all of my dad’s stories, and then when some other people showed up, we said our goodbyes and went home. It couldn’t have gone any better. Happy birthday, Mr Branca.