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
Not sure where this falls in terms of “Freezing Cold Takes” but it is the best thing I saw all week so it’s worth a mention. When former star NFL cornerback and Hall of Famer Deion Sanders called newly signed Houston Texan Tyrann Matheiu “the best safety in the game,” Tennessee Titans first team All-Pro safety Kevin Byard, tweeted this:
— Kevin Byard (@KB31_Era) March 20, 2018
Byard is coming off of a career year, leading the NFL in interceptions. Sanders’ response is incredible:
You're looking at who writers tell u who's the best I know who players and former players feel is the best. I rest my case. You continue to be a fan and i will continue being the man. #Truth https://t.co/gnpwJHjxEK
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) March 20, 2018
“Continue to be a fan??” Byard is an All-Pro! Looking at this, one can only logically conclude that Deion assumed Byard, who has a blue verified checkmark next to his name, was a simpleton fan who had the gall to suggest that two All-Pro safeties may be better than Tyrann Matheiu, whom the Cardinals didn’t want to even keep around unless he took a paycut.
Additionally, one must pose the question here: Does Deion Sanders even know who Kevin Byard is? Byard’s tweet explicitly says his name right next to his account handle. Maybe a casual fan wouldn’t know the name of all of the starting NFL safeties, but there should certainly be an expectation that Deion would know, right? I feel like this is something an NFL commentator should recognize immediately when looking at the name on the tweet. This could just be an honest mistake, and I’m sure few people care, but I am astounded by this.
EX-SPARTAN WITH THE DOUBLE WHAMMY
The most exciting NCAA Tournament finish was probably Saturday night when Michigan beat Houston on a buzzer beating three pointer by freshman Jordan Poole. The fact that Michigan even won this game was a miracle in itself. Houston had the ball up two points with four seconds left, but missed two free throws leading to Poole’s game winner (ICYMI, here’s my Outkick compilation of tweets burying Michigan in the closing seconds).
Perhaps the funniest and most ironic tweet sent out before the game winning shot was by former Michigan State guard Delvon Roe who, thinking Michigan was about to lose, had some fun at the expense of the Spartans in-state rival:
— Delvon Roe (@DelvonRoe10) March 18, 2018
Here’s Roe’s tweet after Poole’s shot:
— Delvon Roe (@DelvonRoe10) March 18, 2018
The ultimate salt in Roe’s wound was probably the following day, when Michigan State lost to Syracuse and failed to make the Sweet Sixteen.
The second round of the NCAA Tournament must have stunk for the city of Cincinnati. Both of its Tournament entries, Xavier and Cincinnati, lost their second-round games as heavy favorites, collapsing in the final minutes and blowing big leads.
First, Cincinnati, the 2-seed in the South region, had one of the most epic collapses in tournament history. The Bearcats were up 22 points with 11 minutes left against 7-seed Nevada and somehow lost. You really have to try hard to mess up something like this. If I was a Cincy fan I wouldn’t be able to even watch the rest of the tournament. Nevertheless, many thought the game was over:
— Jake Robinson (@JakeRobinsonAct) March 18, 2018
ESPN’s Jay Williams tried to delete his mid-game tweet praising the Bearcats, and foolishly thought no one on twitter would screenshot it and post it. Amateur mistake:
— Greg Karpinski (@GreglK) March 19, 2018
As Cincinnati choked, their heated rivals, Xavier, the 1-Seed in the West region, had a comfortable 12-point lead over 9-seed Florida State. Comfortable enough for some to make fun of the Bearcats…
A college team from Cincinnati not blowing a double digit second half lead? In this economy?
— Big East Coast Bias (@becb_sbn) March 19, 2018
What’s more embarrassing for Cronin is that his rival is about to coach circles around his second round opponent
— Jordan Majewski (@jorcubsdan) March 19, 2018
Oh, and check out Xavier senior guard Trevon Bleuitt shouting to the Florida State bench “it’s over” when the Musketeers were up 11 with 13 minutes to play:
Bluiett shot 3/18, taunted the FSU bench, then his team blew it ? pic.twitter.com/Zugug8AvDD
— Slowdell Haggins (@CSteph90) March 19, 2018
VIRGINIA GETS BOAT RACED BY UMBC
It was almost surreal Friday night watching Virginia, the number 1 overall seed in the tournament, get taken to the woodshed by 16-seed Maryland Baltimore-County. If Virginia played UMBC 99 times after this game on the same floor, would the Cavs win all 99? Maybe. Pointless hypotheticals aside, many people took big Ls in their brackets when UVA lost. The most notable of the bunch: CBS Sports’ Seth Davis, who brazenly proclaimed he was writing UVA into his master results bracket with his “sharpie” as soon as the game tipped off. It was the ultimate sign of disrespect.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) March 17, 2018
Predictably, Davis was flogged by pretty much everyone on the internet throughout the course of the game, including the official UMBC Athletics twitter account:
Hi everyone, in case you didn't see, Seth Davis tweeted this one minute into the game pic.twitter.com/vDlrcOtJOn
— UMBC Athletics (@UMBCAthletics) March 17, 2018
Here are some more folks who put too much stock in Virginia before the Tournament:
— Sports Liker (@Ianmurray7) March 17, 2018
UMBC might not score 30 points. Seriously.
— Andrew Doughty (@Adoughty88) March 17, 2018
I, for one, am excited for the 30 for 30 on this Virginia team winning the national title after being unranked to start the season, winning the ACC regular and tournament titles, and losing their X-factor off the bench right before the tournament started.
— Caroline Darney (@cwdarney) March 13, 2018
I wrote about Tony Bennett, his NCAA tournament struggles, and what makes this Virginia team different than the ones that came before it. https://t.co/ujuGSMFPUD
— Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) March 13, 2018
Former President Barack Obama has Virginia and Michigan State in the finals of his bracket. Ouch.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 14, 2018
MORE TOURNAMENT FAILS
The first four days of the NCAA Tournament produced a ton of upsets, excitement, and of course, Cold Takes. Here are some of the many.
First, check out Charles Barkley’s bracket:
Charles Barkley’s bracket is a crime scene pic.twitter.com/ata7WdkgiW
— Danny (@recordsANDradio) March 18, 2018
There were tons of jokes clowning Arizona after they were demolished by Buffalo in the first round. There were also many people who had Arizona advancing in their brackets and took a big hit when Buffalo won. Included in this group: Skip Bayless who, prior to the start of the tournament, predicted that Arizona would win the National Championship via this tweet that people notified me of about 276 times after the Wildcats lost.
I'm picking Arizona to win it all as a 4 seed because of Deandre Ayton, who at 7-1 has NBA superstar potential. Plays so hard and smart for his age. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon, but he's easily the best player in this tournament.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) March 15, 2018
Here’s a tweet from when North Carolina took the floor for its second-round matchup against Texas A&M:
Time for some real basketball. #TarHeels
— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) March 18, 2018
The Aggies smoked the Tar Heels 86-65.
On Sunday, 3-seed Michigan State succumbed to Syracuse’s annoying, and disruptive, 2-3 zone defense losing to the 11-seed Orange 55-53. The Spartans were tossing bricks the whole game, as they went a putrid 8-37 from three-point range. To me, the craziest and most fascinating aspect of this year’s Syracuse team is that they have one of the worst offenses you’ll ever see. It’s truly awful. It’s so bad, that Syracuse fans won’t even argue with it’s futility. They are proud of the fact that the team somehow, through head coach Jim Boeheim’s vaunted zone D, was able to win three games in five days in the tournament despite their offensive ineptitude. It’s a rallying cry. A testament to Boeheim’s genius.
Well, Michigan State was another victim. Here are some people who didn’t see it coming:
President John Engler on MSU's search for a permanent athletic director: "Right now, Bill (Beekman) is the interim, and we won't think about anything until after we cut down the nets in San Antonio."
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) March 17, 2018
Syracuse only plays 7 guys and will be on its third game in five days. Expect MSU to run them https://t.co/rYg613DMmC
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) March 17, 2018
I think Syracuse is gonna lose by 20 and struggle to score 50. https://t.co/9R5oFJNOOZ
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) March 18, 2018
I expect Michigan State to come out and attack the Syracuse Zone and win 71-56
— Hondo Carpenter (@HondoCarpenter) March 18, 2018
11-seed Loyola-Chicago is in the Sweet 16 after beating Miami and Tennessee. The Ramblers feel like that Cinderella team that is not really a Cinderella because even though they are seeded low many people think they are really good and had them making it past the first two rounds. Also on Loyola’s side, is Sister Jean, the 98-year-old nun and team spiritual advisor who has become the media darling of the Tournament thus far. If you would like to see a story about her, just google “Sister Jean.” You will have no fewer than 1,347 stories from which to choose.
Thursday, before the Ramblers first round game against the Hurricanes, this University of Miami alum brought back the “turnover chain” in a confident tweet.
— Adam White (@FOSAdam) March 15, 2018
The Ramblers won 64-62 on a last second buzzer beater.
Tennessee football alum and Knoxville radio personality Jayson Swain dared challenge Sister Jean before the Vols took on Loyola.
I feel bad for what my Vols are going to do to sweet Sister Jeans’s school…… welp ??♂️
Ass whoopings don’t know age. ? https://t.co/aWxtzqCquZ
— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) March 15, 2018
When the Ramblers won, Swain hilariously bit the bullet:
Sister Jean whooped my ass.
— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) March 18, 2018
On Saturday afternoon, Villanova destroyed Alabama in the Second round, which probably surprised Fran Fraschilla:
Most athletic team Wildcats have seen since Tennessee in November.They are in trouble. https://t.co/FQKfsYfltb
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) March 17, 2018
BEST OF THE REST
- In case you missed it, check out my Friday post on Outkick listing the many people who inaccurately picked 16-seed Penn to beat Kansas.
- On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman said that Wichita State basketball head coach Gregg Marshall would not let recently signed guard recruit Alex Lomax out of his National Letter of Intent without a fight. Four hours later, Wichita State announced that they released Lomax from his letter of intent.
- In mid-November, former Chino Hills High School point guard, and famous Ball brother, LaMelo Ball, who had recently been pulled out of school by his father, Lavar, to play professionally in Lithuania, tweeted: “Somebody need to make a 30 for 30 on chino hills how it went from the best to the worst.” On Saturday, Chino Hills beat Bellflower to reach the state title game in Sacramento. LaMelo’s tweet has since been deleted.
- On Saturday, Portland sports radio personality Chad Doing tweeted “CP3 has no idea what is about to hit him on Tuesday night #RipCity #RipCityTheyAss.” On Tuesday night Chris Paul and the Rockets beat the Blazers 115-111 in Portland, snapping the Blazers’ 13-game win streak.
- This week marked the sixth anniversary of a special and notable occasion. Back in early 2012, Clay Travis, a huge Titans fan and obsessive Peyton Manning supporter, was totally geeked up because a “source” entrusted him with some great intel: Peyton Manning would be coming home to Tennessee. Here’s some of Clay’s ill-fated tweets:
Titans still lead for Manning but per source 49ers have replaced Broncos as top competition.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 17, 2012
Source still believes Manning will be Titan, but Broncos aren't primary competition now. It's 49ers.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 17, 2012
Source close to Manning says Titans have weathered 49er storm and to expect presser by Tuesday at latest.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 18, 2012
Unfortunately for Clay, the next day, the news broke that Manning was signing with Denver. A real shock to Clay and his sources:
Manning to Broncos is complete stunner. Can't believe that Peyton made a total money grab. Shocked.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 19, 2012
Manning took the worst team for the most money. Stunner.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 19, 2012
Given that, during his four years with the Broncos, Manning made two Super Bowls, winning one, Clay’s money grab theory doesn’t hold much water.
- Here’s one of my all-time favorites. While watching North Carolina senior forward Brice Johnson dominate Providence in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon tweeted this:
You can have Ben Simmons if you'd like; I'll take Brice Johnson 100 times out of 100 on my NBA team…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) March 20, 2016
This appears to be a is a classic case of recency bias, because LSU’s Simmons, the much-hyped freshman, who seemed to be the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft before he stepped on the floor for the Tigers, did not even make the tournament.
After an uneventful rookie season, Johnson was traded mid-season by the Clippers to the Pistons. Shortly thereafter, the Pistons traded Johnson to the Grizzlies where he plays for the G-League team, the Memphis Hustle. Simmons, after missing last season with an injury, is this year’s favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and looks like he has superstar potential.
At the end of October, Wilbon had been taking heat from everyone for his disastrous 2016 tweet, and decided to address it:
For all the clowns out there re-Tweeting that I said I'd take Brice Johnson over Ben Simmons, the context was COLLEGE BASKETBALL…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) October 31, 2017
Of course, Mike’s assertion is clearly false as his 2016 tweet unequivocally stated that he would rather have Johnson over Simmons “on his NBA team.” Good job double checking, Michael.
- On March 16, 2013, Associated Press National Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg tweeted this:
Anthony Bennett is going to make some NBA team quite happy in the lottery. Scored first 11 points for UNLV today
— Tim Dahlberg (@timdahlberg) March 16, 2013
- Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb took a lot of heat when he posted this before Texas A&M’s second round game against North Carolina:
FYI, Texas A&M has great personnel 2-5, better than UNC.. truth is, not close..
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) March 18, 2018
Gottlieb’s statement sure appears to be accurate as the Aggies destroyed the Tar Heels 86-65 in a game that wasn’t all that close, and Texas A&M looked like the better team throughout.
- Incoming University of Florida freshman wide receiver Jacob Copeland confidently predicted that the Gators would win the SEC East in 2018 when he tweeted that UF will be “taking a trip to Atlanta, Georgia this year. Mark my words.”
- Danny Kanell thinks the Browns will make the playoffs next year.
- Former star wide receiver Chad Johnson predicts that Green Bay’s newly signed tight end Jimmy Graham “will catch 13+” touchdowns next season.
- Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde believes that the University of Memphis likely made a costly mistake hiring Penny Hardaway as its new head basketball coach.
- Colin Cowherd thinks “drafting Baker Mayfield would be an absolute disaster for the New York Jets.”
- Here’s a quote from new 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman in a recent piece he penned for The Players’ Tribune: “To anybody who wants to criticize me for the three-year deal I negotiated that’s full of incentives … come back and talk to me in three years.”
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.
Fred also hosts a podcast, “Freezing Cold Take Spotlights with Fred Segal,” which you can find on iTunes.