13) In mid-September, the Atlanta Falcons were 100-1 to win the Super Bowl.
12) Matt Ryan was the 25th-rated QB in the high school class of 2003. One of the QB’s ranked ahead of him was Clayton Richard, who pitched for the Cubs/Padres last year- he’s spent eight years in the major leagues. Richard was a backup QB at Michigan for a while in college.
11) Speaking of the Padres, they’ll be paying a lot of money this season to BJ Upton, James Shields and Hector Olivera, none of whom are Padres anymore.
No one on the current San Diego roster will earn as much money as any of those three guys this year.
10) St Louis Cardinals’ first pick in the June amateur draft will be the 94th pick in the draft.
9) ESPN hired David Ross (baseball), Rex Ryan (NFL) as analysts. Ryan should be TV gold, unless he wants to coach again and watches his words, which has never happened before.
8) Barclays Center in Brooklyn is booting the NHL’s Islanders out, saying they could make more money if they just had concerts and the Nets there.
Where will the Islanders go? Here is a novel idea: how about moving the team to Canada, where I’m told that hockey is very popular? Quebec City, Hamilton, Saskatoon; I’m sure they would all love to have an NHL franchise of their own.
7) Take the Power 6 college basketball conferences (ACC, Big X, Big 14, SEC, Pac-12, Big East); this year, those teams are averaging 73.3 pts/game, compared to 71.7 LY and 66.2 the year before, so thats a good trend.
Imagine if they let refs call continuation on drives to the basket; would increase scoring even more.
6) In 1992, the Florida Marlins drafted a pitcher from Stanford in the 2nd round, kid named John Lynch— he pitched two years in the NY-Penn League, then dedicated himself to football, where he was a great player. Now Lynch is the GM of the 49ers, despite having no experience in the front office. Will be interesting to see how he does.
I’ll say this: as a Ram fan, I can’t root for Lynch to succeed, but he’ll be missed on TV. He was smart and fair and teamed up well with FOX’s Kevin Burkhardt.
5) There have been 94 Kentucky players who played in the NBA, 88 from UCLA; they were talking about that on the Memphis-Phoenix NBA game Monday night.
4) Northwestern is going to make the NCAA’s this year for the first time; one of their best players is Bryant McIntosh, who is from Greensburg, IN. He was saying last week how Indiana Hoosiers recruit nationally more than they do in Indiana, so they weren’t so interested in him, but now he is helping put the Wildcats on the national map for the first time. Good for him.
3) You look at Gonzaga as a #1 seed that has never been to a Final Four; they’ll be the #1 seed out west if they wind up as a #1— now you look at Bracketology to see who they could possibly face in a second round game, just to get to the Sweet 16. They’ll have lot of pressure on them.
Here are the 8-9 seed matchups that ESPN has up right now; I know it is still early, but it gives you a little bit of an idea what could be ahead for Gonzaga.
USC-Indiana…..Marquette-Arkansas……Va Tech-Kansas State…….Michigan St-Dayton
Wow, being a #1 seed and playing a Michigan St-Dayton winner would be a really hard second round game. We’re 5.5 weeks away from all that, but it is food for thought.
2) Carroll Hardy played eight years in the majors, from 1958-67; he hit .225 with 17 career HR’s. His claim to fame is that he is the only player who ever pinch-hit for Ted Williams.
Hardy also played 10 games for the 49ers in 1955; he caught 12 passes, four for TD’s. After his playing days, he became player personnel director for the Denver Broncos in the 70’s. Interesting career.
1— Next four Super Bowl sites: Minnesota-Atlanta-Miami-Los Angeles, with three of those four coming in very new stadiums. Wonder if there will be a Super Bowl in Las Vegas someday.