Twenty Thoughts Across the World of Sports

A jam-packed night for sports fans! Our viewing options include MLB, the NBA Playoffs, the NFL’s opening night, NHL semi-finals, and the women’s semis of the U.S. Open.

Heading into the prime time hours, another lame showing by the Houston Rockets is making passing on The Association an easy call. And let’s face it, the MLB goings on won’t get interesting until the playoffs begin (besides, the Mets have the night off). So that narrows down our crowded field of options. The choices narrow further if you refuse, as I do, to watch the NHL on television.

That leaves me burning a hole in the “previous channel” button as I toggle between Chiefs-Texans in Kansas City, and Naomi Osaka versus Jennifer Brady in Flushing.

To appropriately honor the fact that our sports viewing choices have finally expanded beyond just the NBA and major league baseball, SportsAttic has decided it’s time to take a broader look at the current goings on in our (mostly) fan-less sports universe.

Here is the SportsAttic Top Twenty of thoughts and reactions regarding the current state of of affairs in our beloved world of sports.

  1. Mike Tyson is getting back into the ring, folks. And, exhibition or no, I will be pulling for him to land at least one solid right during his bout this weekend against Roy Jones, Jr. It’s funny how rooting interests can change over time. I don’t recall ever pulling for Tyson back when he was “the baddest man on the planet,” but I’m firmly on the Tyson bandwagon for this one. Call it an old guy thing. Knock Jones and his washed up ass out, Iron Mike — and score one for the over-50 set!
  2. Even when I followed hockey, I never rooted for the New York Islanders. But for some reason I find myself following their progress during this year’s NHL Playoffs. I’m a Lou Lamoriello fan from his days guiding the Devils, so I like that, plus I root for the Isles coach who got the shaft down in D.C. after only delivering their first-ever Stanley Cup to Caps fans. And then there’s the whole Long Island thing, and how Brooklyn is trying to steal away their civic pride and joy. If the Isles can come back from two down in the semis and advance, I may even tune in to a hockey game for the first time in about a decade.
  3. Why haven’t I heard of Jennifer Brady? She’s about to go down in three sets to Naomi Osaka in the semis of The Open, but taking Osaka to three tough sets makes this a statement match for the former UCLA star. Her serve comes in regularly over 110 MPH (and seem faster), and her forehand reminds me of Ivan Lendl back in the day. Another American woman to watch as we decide who will succeed Serena as the next great women’s champ.
  4. Patrick Mahomes (whose Dad was a Met for awhile, don’t forget) and Deshaun Watson are both newly minted $40 million dollar men (okay, Watson’s technically at $39MM, but let’s not quibble). It feels absurd even to type such a preposterous figure, but it always feels that way when a new compensation barrier gets blown through in a sport. Given the revenue and merchandising associated with these two young QB’s, in a couple of years we will look at these deals as wise investments by the Chiefs and Texans. I just hope they stay healthy. Amazing athletes and both a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
  5. I’ve heard more people defending Novak Djokovic than condemning him since he got DQ’d from this year’s U.S. Open. One of the worst arguments in his defense has got to be the one stating that he didn’t hit the ball that struck the line judge that hard. Really? If you’ve ever taken a surprise shot to the Adam’s Apple, you know that woman wasn’t overreacting. And if you’ve ever played against a hothead who likes to randomly swat balls in anger, you know it’s unnerving. The rule exists for a reason, and Djokovic has been a dick throughout the entire pandemic anyway. Good riddance, if you ask me.
  6. How awesome would it be if the Orioles eke out the final AL playoff spot right from under the Yankees nose?
  7. And even better, how about if the Orioles and the Tigers take the seven and eight seeds, and the Yanks and Astros both get sent home before the expanded playoffs even begin?
  8. And for the real MLB trifecta? You know it…here come the Mets! We wrap the regular season with a little run earning the final chair at the NL playoff table. Then the real games begin. Yes, we’ll sign up for that right now.
  9. It wasn’t enough that I had to eat crow and give Carmelo Anthony credit for swallowing his ego and fitting into the Blazers system while helping them make the playoffs? Now I’ve got to tip the cap to Chris Paul, too? What he did in OKC this year, and especially in the bubble, was nothing short of Herculean. I guess he’s not done after all.
  10. Speaking of OKC, what in the world had to happen for Billy Donovan and the Thunder to part ways? I was hoping we’d see Mo Cheeks take over in Philly, but can the Sixers really pass on Donovan?
  11. The Braves scored 29 runs the other night against the Marlins. Yes, they won. Amazing that isn’t even the most scored by one team this century. The Texas Rangers put a 30-spot on the Orioles back in ’07.
  12. When did Notre Dame join the ACC? C’mon guys, how are we supposed to take the college football season and Top 25 rankings seriously when we are missing power conferences?
  13. The New York Post previewed the Jets and Giants today and had both projected to finish at 7-9. Really? REALLY?? I think it is more likely they combine for seven wins. Taking all the action I can get that come the end of the season the combined win total for New York football (not counting the Bills) is closer to my call than The Post’s.
  14. Anyone else worried about Willie Mays? Bad things tend to happen in threes, and its been tough enough losing Tom Seaver and Lou Brock in one week. Stay out of all that smoke in the Bay Area, Say Hey Kid, we need ya!
  15. Great to see the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum getting some well deserved props during MLB’s Jackie Robinson celebrations. If you are ever in Kansas City, it is worth the investment of a few hours. And if NLBM President Bob Kendrick is in the house, chat him up on some of the baseball history associated with the fascinating and poignant exhibits — you will leave a better person.
  16. I’m beginning to worry that Aaron Judge may be this generation’s Pete Reiser (look him up, kids). That would be a real shame, even for us Yankees-haters.
  17. I like NBA superstars picking their own coach even less than I do them banding together to form super teams. That being said, I think Steve Nash will end up being an excellent choice in Brooklyn. And keeping the well-respected Jacques Vaughn as Nash’s lead assistant was the most significant takeaway from the entire press release.
  18. Who won the Kentucky Derby? They ran it, right? Worried I may have the exact same, hollow reaction when the Masters wraps up mid-November. Yikes…
  19. In case you wondered about how prescient SportsAttic prognostications can be — take a cautionary look at what happened to the Utah Jazz just minutes after we anointed them the likely NBA champs. They’d looked invincible after taking their commanding 3-1 series lead against the Nuggets, but we sure took care of that. With Sports Illustrated headed for the glue factory any day now, there may be a new sheriff suiting up in the sports jinx world.
  20. I’m getting a Cleveland Browns-preseason-2019 kind of vibe from the 2020 Buccaneers. Yeah, I know they have the GOAT and his jackass tight end, too. And there were already some pieces in place down in Tampa. And yeah, I like the Fournette signing, and they’ve got a pretty good coach. But still, they are the Bucs. Sign me up for 9-7 and a near-miss on a playoff bid.

There you have it — and now we can return to rooting on Serena Williams in her quest to finally tie Margaret Court’s record for most career Grand Slams. Serena is a wonder, and it would be great to have that kind of positive sports news to celebrate.

A Williams-Osaka U.S. Open final will be must-watch television.

(SportsAttic Note: See #19 above — as we prepare to hit the “publish” button I am stunned to see Serena has bowed out in three sets to Victoria Azarenka. You hearing our footsteps, Sports Illustrated?)

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