With the NFL back front and center, and painful memories still lingering from SportsAttic’s ill-fated attempts at prognostication the last time NFL teams were suited up on the gridiron, we’ve decided to introduce the…
SportsAttic Monday Recap!
It’s based on the simple premise that it’s always easier looking into the rearview mirror than a crystal ball.
So each Monday we’ll take a look at a dozen or so stories from the prior weekend. Sometimes for excellence in action, more frequently for the absurdity associated with that action — be it NFL, MLB, NBA or really any important sporting event contested over the prior couple of days.
Welcome aboard and here we go!
*The unnamed Washington Football Team seemed appropriately irrelevant while falling behind the Iggles early yesterday. But not so fast! Despite the hapless franchise’s inability to even rename itself in a timely manner, they looked damn good storming back to an unexpected victory. And don’t think there weren’t more than a few choruses of “Hail to the Redskins” breaking out across The District, Virginia and Maryland yesterday afternoon. Too soon to declare the curse lifted? You betcha — Danny Snyder still owns this team.
*It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself if you are a fan of the New York Football Jets. Never even showing a sign of being competitive against the Buffalo Bills is painful, but is it worse than how Lions fans must feel today? I believe losing a game you should have won is far more painful than raising the white flag in the first quarter of the first game of the season. Yes, it’s a little like debating the worst possible ways to die, but then again, the Lions at least have some hope based on what we saw yesterday. The Jets? Not so much.
*It’s rare I feel sorry for an athlete who’s about to cash a check for millions of dollars, especially after blatantly choking a clear shot at the U.S. Open title, but poor Alexander Zverev. The guy flushed a two-set lead, and still had the match sitting there on a platter for him, his opponent barely able to walk as the fifth set tie-breaker began. But as painful as it was to witness one of the most god-awful choke moments in tennis history, his going to pieces during his runner-up speech actually moved me. Poor guy. Lucky for him there were only a couple of dozen people in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium. And probably even fewer watching on TV. But still…
*Speaking of the Open. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more poised 22-year-old than Naomi Osaka. After coming back from a set down to beat Victoria Azarenka in the finals Saturday, Osaka refused to bite as the announcer practically begged her to say something inflammatory regarding racial justice. Leading her down his desired road by referencing the social justice masks she’d rotated throughout the tournament, the classless MC asked Osaka what the masks made her think about. Osaka didn’t blink, instead redirecting and asking the oaf what it made him think about. And wasn’t that the point? Perfect and perfect. I’m a fan.
*Why did the Rams choose to sully the unveiling of what appears to be an awesome new stadium by rolling out the worst uniforms in the NFL? Redesigning their iconic helmet is a travesty, but then to compound that error with such plain and unimaginative jerseys? We just don’t get it?
*Gotta admit I loved Tom Brady on the keeper to punch in a TD on his first possession leading the Tampa Bay offense. However, I really loved the pick-six he tossed that helped bury the Bucs. And coach Bruce Arians laying him out for poor decision-making in the postgame presser? Nice.
*Can’t the Mets just forfeit the rest of their games? The pain is becoming too much to bear. The idea that we will miss the expanded playoffs and end up watching the Marlins play on is just so… so… well… so Mets.
*With the exception of the little matter of picking the Jazz to go all the way in our SportsAttic NBA Preview piece, we’ve really delivered the goods this postseason. If SportsAttic Nation can allow for a little revisionist history — say, sub in Denver Nuggets for Utah Jazz, as an example? — we’d be looking like goddamn Nostradamus right about now. Will the Clippers take the second half off for the third elimination game in a row tomorrow night, paving the way for a Denver title? I can’t imagine they will, but then again, I had the Nuggets dead in the water two weeks ago. That’s why they play the games!
*Has a team ever come up smaller than the Rockets did in their series against the Lakers? Who can blame poor Mike D’Antoni for taking his ball and calling it a career? How many more times will we be suckered by James Harden into thinking one of his teams has a chance to do some damage before affixing the “L” on his forehead and moving on? Name one time he’s come up big in a tight postseason spot. I’m waiting…
*Remind me never to pick the Vikings to win anything ever again. Is Kirk Cousins really that horrible a leader? Sure starting to feel that way, isn’t it? The difference between Cousins and Aaron Rodgers was so stark yesterday, it’s scary. If the two teams had switched QB’s at halftime, the Vikings would have come back and won big. No doubt about it.
*Still not used to the initials “LV” in front of the name “Raiders” (then again, they were in LA for 13 years and I never got used to that either). AtticBride asked me what will happen to all those diehard, demented Raiders fans in NorCal now that their team plays in Vegas. “Just travel, baby. Just travel.” I would recommend that law-abiding humans avoid the Vegas strip at all cost during Raiders’ home weekends once fans are allowed back in attendance. This will truly test the slogan “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
*Is Odell Beckham, Jr. still on the Browns? Who?
*I guess Joe Burrow just found out a little bit about being a Cincinnati Bengal. Ouch.
*Anyone else think the Astros are hearing footsteps? Seattle? Yeah, the M’s are the only team left that could still send the ‘Stros home with no postseason in the top-heavy American League. Go Mariners — send those trashcan banging, buzzer-boys home!
*At least the Jets will get to pick themselves up at home next weekend against another winless squad. Oh, it’s the Niners? Never mind.
*If we set a precedent and let the Mets forfeit their remaining games in 2020, can we immediately apply the same policy to the Jets? And then the Knicks? Pretty please?
*Too bad there won’t be fans at tonight’s MNF “early” game. A real shame that the Steelers will lose the advantage of playing in front of 60,000 screaming, Terrible Towel waving, fanatics. Oh, it’s a road game for the Steelers? Yeah, I know. After watching the Jets debacle yesterday, it’s hard to believe that the Giants may be the worst team playing home games at MetLife Stadium this year, isn’t it? Get those season tickets on StubHub quick, Big Blue fans.
*I see Pete Wheeler injured himself pulling on his pants the other day. Lesson to the Philadelphia Phillies organization and their fans — you can take the pitcher out of the Mets, but you can’t take the Mets out of the pitcher.
*Not only would the Miami Marlins be in the playoffs if the season ended today, but they would be the five-seed in the National League, preparing to play the San Diego Padres in the first round. Maybe Derek Jeter isn’t the Michael Jordan of MLB owners?
*So the Big 10 is thinking they can start playing games as early as October? Hmmm… Would that have anything to do with the fact that the rest of college football didn’t melt after the Big 10 decided to cancel their schedule? And it certainly has nothing to do with missing out on their share of the still sizable amounts of riches available for those programs who do compete in 2020? Nah, this is all about the kids, right? Right??
There you have it — the first edition of SportsAttic’s Monday Recap. See you in a week.