It’s that time of the week again. Every Wednesday, I post this comprehensive guide highlighting some of the notable unprophetic and wrong predictions, and other observations that are relevant to the previous week’s sports news. Let’s begin.
BEST OF THE WEEK
KANSAS WINS BIG 12. WATER IS WET
After beating Texas Tech 74-72 in basketball on Saturday, the Kansas Jayhawks are the Big 12 regular season champions for the 14th consecutive season. Each season, a few bold people throw themselves on the firing line and boldly proclaim that the streak will end. This season seemed to have more doubters than usual, especially after the Jayhawks suffered some uncharacteristic out of conference losses in December and struggled through some conference games in January. But the Jayhawks, as always, pulled it together, and kept the streak alive. Here are a few samples of some of the doubters:
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 14, 2018
Kansas has to hold on at home – again – this time beating K-State by one point. Think at this point its impossible to debate: Kansas is no better than the fourth or fifth best team in the Big 12. If that.
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 13, 2018
It's going to be wild next year when the reigning NIT champ wins the Big 12
— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) March 31, 2017
FYI, KenPom was referring to TCU.
RICK BARNES HAS VOLS BBALL ROLLIN
How about Rick Barnes? The Tennessee hoops coach currently has the Vols at 22-7 overall and tied atop the SEC standings with one game left to play. As of Wednesday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has UT pegged as a 3-seed in his latest Bracketology bracket. Barnes took over a program that was in disarray three years ago and has rebuilt them into a winner. Here are some who were not so high on Tennessee hiring Barnes back in 2015:
— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) March 31, 2015
I don't get why everyone thinks Rick Barnes is a good fit at Tenn. It's like Rex Ryan to the Bills.
— Jared Stillman (@JaredStillman) March 30, 2015
What I feared when Barnes got the TN job was how he put it in cruise control at Texas. Hard to flip the switch. https://t.co/8jMPIpIa3J
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 19, 2016
COLIN COWHERD JOINS RANKS OF THE BOOGER EATERS
Long-time wrestling critic Colin Cowherd looked like he was enjoying himself at Tuesday night’s WWE Smackdown event at the Staples Center:
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) February 28, 2018
Here’s a few examples of some past commentary from Colin about wrestling and its fans:
The @iHeartRadio music awards are fantastic. Here's what's not. Hanging out w 90,000 sweaty booger eaters at Wrasslemania.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) April 4, 2016
Apparently there was some booger eaters convention tonight or something. WWE tweets everywhere. Enjoy the hot pockets kiddies.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) April 8, 2013
Sorry if any of u wrestling fans misunderstood me b4. I didn't say you were Booger Eaters. I said you were lonely, pathetic Booger Eaters.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) August 9, 2012
WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
In August 2016, Harvard hockey star winger Jimmy Vesey had the choice of any NHL team with whom to sign. As a surprise to many, he chose the New York Rangers over his hometown Boston Bruins. In response, Bruins winger Matt Beleskey made it known to Vesey what he thought of the decision:
@19Vesey bad decision fella ….
— Matt Beleskey (@Matt_Beleskey) August 20, 2016
On Sunday, Beleskey was traded to the Rangers as part of a package that sent Rick Nash to the Bruins.
JAMES HARDEN CLASSICS
James Harden and the Rockets are destroying the NBA right now. Currently on a 13-game win streak, Houston has the best record in the league. Harden is the odds-on favorite to win the league MVP award. Not bad for a team whose acquisition of Chris Paul in the offseason was supposed to be a “disaster:”
— FS1 (@FS1) July 1, 2017
Also, for fun, here are two of my favorite old tweets about James Harden from the 2009 NBA Draft:
In five years people will look back at the Thunder's pick and say "who the hell is James Harden?"
— Chris Chase (@FireChrisChase) June 25, 2009
James Harden at No 3? Really?
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 26, 2009
This past week saw the Kansas City Chiefs trade cornerback Marcus Peters to the LA Rams for draft picks. Here’s a since-deleted tweet from Matt Connor, the editor of Fansided’s Chiefs blog Arrowhead Addict, from last week linking this article from the site:
Fansided’s NFL lead writer was in the same boat as Connor:
To address the insanity, the #Chiefs are not trading Marcus Peters. They will exercise his fifth-year option and then attempt to sign him long-term. When he signs, he'll be the highest-paid CB in league history.
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) February 17, 2018
And here’s Verderame’s reaction to a Mike Florio article suggesting that the Chiefs could be trying to trade Peters:
We've really reached the point where people will write anything for a click. https://t.co/aKmtD7mx0Y
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) February 18, 2018
BOBBY PORTIS CALLS HIS SHOT, DOES NOT DELIVER
Here’s Bulls forward Bobby Portis last Thursday after he scored his 36th point with 5:36 left in the 4th quarter against the 76ers in Chicago:
Bobby Portis is savage: “I’m getting 40!” ? pic.twitter.com/ezgbUissuB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 23, 2018
Portis finished with 38 points in a Bulls overtime loss. Portis missed a running layup to tie.
DOPEY RUSSIAN DOPER PLAYS HERSELF
I don’t even think commentary is needed on this. Imagine Mark McGwire walking around with a shirt like this in 1998.
Athlete from Russia who recently wore an anti-doping slogan shirt just failed her drug test https://t.co/yFkZhN1d9p
— TIME (@TIME) February 23, 2018
DON’T EVER BET YOUR ENTIRE PAYCHECK
Last Thursday, Christopher Powers of Golf Digest wrote about basketball for some reason and it didn’t turn out that great. Here’s the headline of his article, which also appeared on Yahoo! Sports:
The Cavs lost 110-103 to the Wizards in Cleveland on Thursday night.
- February 22, 1980 was the 38th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” USA Hockey Team’s momentous 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. The USA went on to defeat Finland and win the gold medal. The Americans were such big underdogs going into the Olympics, that Head Coach Herb Brooks didn’t even give the team a chance to win gold. Just weeks before the Olympics, he said “A bronze this year would be like our gold medal in 1960 (via The Times-News (NC) February 11, 1980):”
- February 25, 1964 was the first fight between legend Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) and then Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston. Here’s some snippets from a column by Bill McGrotha in The Tallahassee Democrat on the morning of the fight. Look at this lede:
Also from McGrotha:
“All side issues ignored, Liston may or may not be on of the best heavyweight boxers of all time; there simply isn’t enough to go on.
But he certainly appears to be far and away the best heavyweight around today.
It’ll be a stunning upset if Clay answers the bell for the fifth round. Even if he does, it will merely delay the inevitable.”
Ironically, it was Liston who did not answer the bell, as he refused to come out for the seventh round. Clay won by TKO, and the rest is history.
- In late-February 2011, ESPN Tennis analyst Brad Gilbert tweeted:
@timkawakami still think curry is overrated would move him this summer he scores 20 the guy guarding him scores 30
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) February 26, 2011
- At the Sloan Sports Conference Friday Morning, entrepreneur Michael Rubin said “In ten years, Overwatch or another esports league will be bigger than the NFL or NBA. I’m taking the under.”
- ESPN NFL reporter Jeff Darlington loves the new three-year $54 million extension that the Jaguars gave QB Blake Bortles Saturday.
- “Noted quarterback guru” and trainer George Whitfield thinks that there hasn’t been a talent like Wyoming QB prospect Josh Allen coming out of college football “since Cam Newton” (via NFL.com).
- Boston Red Sox slugger Hanley Ramirez on the team signing right fielder JD Martinez: “Now we’re going to step on everybody’s neck.”
- Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo said that he could never see himself playing in Los Angeles.
That’s all for this week.
Fred Segal is an attorney from West Palm Beach, FL. He operates the popular Freezing Cold Takes twitter account (@OldTakesExposed) which highlights, among other things, hilarious unprophetic and inaccurate takes and predictions.
Fred also hosts a podcast, “Freezing Cold Take Spotlights with Fred Segal,” which you can find on iTunes.