Thursday’s Den: Our last den of 2020……

13) We’ll start today with a pet peeve of mine; don’t mean to end 2020 with a complaint, but I’m going to. Too many people mistake kindness for weakness; just because I’m nice to you doesn’t mean you can label me as a sucker. It happens way too often. 

12) I read Monday where 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Wal-Mart; surprised the hell out of me, but it seems to be true. 

11) Clemson Tigers covered 10 of their last 12 bowls; they were an underdog in 10 of those 12 games. Quite a juggernaut Dabo Swinney has built; ironically, he is an Alabama graduate. 

10) Ben Roethlisberger will sit out this week’s game in Cleveland; Mason Rudolph will play in his place. Will be interesting to see what teams do, if they’re already in the playoffs. Steelers are already in the playoffs; they’re letting some regulars rest up. 

9) Odd stat of the day: Last nine times someone on the Knicks had a triple/double, it was nine different guys. Julius Randle had one Tuesday in the Knicks’ win at Cleveland. 

8) Michigan State is off to an 0-3 conference start, first time since 2002 that they lost their first three Big 14 games. Spartans did make the MCAA’s back in 2002. 

7) 13 of Louisville’s 16 basketball players are freshmen/sophomores, which helps explain why the Cardinals have been struggling. This is a particularly bad year to have such a young team. 

6) Arizona Wildcats self-imposed a one-year postseason ban on themselves, hoping to soften the blow that will eventually come down from the NCAA. Auburn did the same thing earlier this fall; we’ll see if LSU/Kansas follow suit, since they’re both headed towards probation. 

5) Toronto Raptors are playing home games in Tampa this season; they’re off to an 0-3 start, first time since 2006 they lost their first three games. 

4) Conference USA teams went 0-6 in bowl games this season; no bueno. 

3) NBA injuries:
— Kevin Love (Cavaliers) is out 3-4 weeks (calf)
— Ja Morant (Grizzlies) is out 3-5 weeks (ankle)

2) Phil Niekro started 716 games in his 24-year major league career; the knuckleballer was difficult to catch, since knuckleballs float around a lot. These two catchers caught the most Niekro starts:

— Bruce Benedict caught 145 of the games; he later became an SEC basketball ref.
— Biff Pocoroba (a 1978 All-Star) caught 92; he was also one of my boyhood heroes, since we have the same first name. Sadly, Biff Pocoroba passed away last May. 

1) 2020 has been a tough year for all of us; glad it is ending. Hopefully 2021 will be the start of our recovery as a country, and that all of us can be healthy going forward. Some suggestions:

— Lets be nicer to each other. Every day.
— We should be more tolerant of people who disagree with us
— If it isn’t fatal, its no big deal.

Happy New Year, everyone. 

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.