The Freezing Cold Take Report

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

PACERS EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

The Indiana Pacers are having themselves a nice season.  Currently 37-27 and sitting at 4th place in the Eastern Conference, they have far exceeded most expectations.  Back in July, many thought of Indiana as fools for trading star veteran Paul George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and rookie Domantas Sabonis.  However, Sabonis has been productive and Oladipo has turned in an all-star season. Here are some select offseason tweets about the Pacers season outlook:

AWFUL PHIL MICKELSON TAKE LOOKS EVEN MORE AWFUL

Two years ago, Golf commentator Robert Lusetich posted this tweet about Phil Mickelson:

This tweet was bad the minute it was posted, as it was sent while Phil was one shot off the Sunday lead at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  Mickelson finished that tournament in second place.  This weekend, Mickelson defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff to win the WGC-Mexico Championship in Mexico City. He’s not gone yet.

MICHIGAN STATE’S MILES BRIDGES TAKES AN L

This past offseason, Michigan State sophomore small forward Miles Bridges was confident that his Spartans would be “trouble” for in-state rival Michigan in the upcoming season. In May, he responded to playful trash talk from former Michigan guard Derrick Walton with this tweet:

Those “young boys” to whom he referred are the players on Michigan’s team.  In January, the Wolverines beat the Spartans 82-72 in East Lansing. On Saturday, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal, Michigan beat Michigan State again 75-64 in en route to its second straight Big Ten Tournament championship.

JEMELE HILL ALSO TOOK SOME Ls

In October 2016, as Michigan State was slogging through one of its worst seasons in years, ESPN’s Jemele Hill, an MSU alum and ardent fan, was taking a lot of heat from Michigan fans on Twitter. Her response:

Since that tweet, Michigan has defeated Michigan State three out of four times.  In addition, Michigan won the Big Ten Tournament in both 2017 and 2018 and made it to the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament while the Spartans crashed out in the Second Round.  Jemele still has football though, as Sparty has beaten the Wolverines eight times in the past 10 years.  When presented with her 2016 tweet, Hill double-down:

SEAN MILLER’S CAREER: NOT OVER YET

In case you have taken a two-week nap, the University of Arizona Basketball program and it’s head coach, Sean Miller, have been through the ringer. To (very briefly) summarize: Just under two weeks ago, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported that, according to his sources, the FBI has wiretapped phone calls of Miller talking to a runner for an agent about a $100,000 payment to star center DeAndre Ayton to secure Ayton would play for the Wildcats. ESPN later issued a correction related to Schlabach’s reporting of the  timeline of the events in the report, then retracted the correction.  Miller and Ayton have categorically denied the allegations in the ESPN report.  The University, at least for the time being, is sticking with Miller, who only missed one game due to the incident, and will continue to coach the team through the postseason.  The fact that Miller is still coaching is a far cry from what the collective consensus was the day ESPN report was published.   Unsurprisingly, media and TV personalities jumped to conclusions about Miller’s fate as soon as the report came out:

The next day, during an ESPNU broadcast of an Arizona State/Oregon State regular season contest, the play-by-play announcer inaccurately reported that Arizona had fired Miller:

The announcer retracted the report shortly thereafter.

BEST OF THE REST

  • In mid-February, CBS Sports NFL Analyst Jason La Canfora said Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller will not be with the team next season.  Yesterday, the Bears applied the “transition tag” to Fuller and plan to keep him in Chicago.
  • Two years ago, yours truly really liked Pitt basketball’s hire of Kevin Stallings as head coach.  The Panthers went 0-19 in ACC play this year.
  • Congratulations to the Tennessee and Auburn basketball teams for finishing in a tie for first place in the SEC this season.  The Vols and Tigers were picked by experts to finish 13th and 9th respectively

TAKE-AVERSARIES

  • Coming off a National Championship in 2012, Kentucky failed to make the NCAA Tournament the following season and suffered a humiliating defeat by Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.  By March of the following season, Kentucky was struggling again. On March 2, 2014, the Wildcats had just suffered their worst defeat of the season at last place South Carolina, a game in which Head Coach John Calipari was ejected and didn’t show up to the post-game press conference.  It was Calipari’s squad’s eighth loss and the third in their last five games. At that point, Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde, who has long been accused of a personal bias toward Calipari went nuclear on the controversial Kentucky coach in a column with this headline:

The column, which skewers Coach Cal for not taking responsibility for his failures, and questioned his annual strategy of recruiting “one-and-done” players,  was lauded by many of Forde’s colleagues in the media.

 

But the Wildcats found their groove in the postseason. After losing to #1 Florida by one point in the SEC Tournament Championship game, Kentucky rattled off five straight wins in the NCAA Tournament.  The run included a second round upset over undefeated and number 1 seed in the Midwest bracket Wichita State, a glorious Sweet 16 win over Rick Pitino and Louisville, and thrillers against Michigan in the Elite 8, and Wisconsin in the Final Four.  UK ultimately lost to UConn in the Championship.

After Kentucky defeated Michigan to clinch its Final Four birth, Forde chimed in again.  This time with a mea culpa:

  • In March 2010, noted Bay Area scribe Tim Kawakami tweeted this about San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner:

The fastball was not gone. Bumgarner turned into one of the best pitchers in the first half of the decade.  MadBum played a key role in the Giants 2010 and 2012 World Series Championships. In 2014 he led the Giants to another world championship with one the most dominant postseason performances in Major League History. His fastball has surpassed 87-89 mph throughout his career.

KUDOS

  • Kudos to Software developer Paul Buxton. In mid-January, he drew a sketch of his prediction of the 2018 NHL Draft Official Logo:

On Friday, the NHL revealed the Logo:

Paul swears he didn’t cheat!

  • Kudos to comedian Kennelia Stradwick, who tweeted this in 2016:

Sunday night, Dear Basketball, written and narrated by Bryant, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

VAULT-IT

  • Notable sports TV and radio personality Mike Hill thinks this “Cavaliers team won’t even make the Eastern Conference Finals this year.”
  • Colin Cowherd thinks the Dallas Cowboys are an 11-5, 10-6 team that makes the playoffs next year.”
  • The SEC Network’s Tom Hart predicts that Kentucky will win the SEC Basketball Tournament this week.
  • Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell thinks UCF Linebacker and NFL Combine darling, Shaquem Griffin, is a great story, but…not worth a draft pick.”

That’s it 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. 

You can follow Freezing Cold Takes on Facebook here, and Instagram here (username: freezingcoldtakes).

Fred also hosts a podcast, “Freezing Cold Take Spotlights with Fred Segal,” which you can find on iTunes.

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