10 Thoughts for the Week of November 1, 2020

1. DODGERS WIN THE WORLD SERIES

The 60-game season and bubble playoffs of Major League Baseball concluded with the Los Angeles Dodgers being crowned the champions. Corey Seager was deservedly the MVP of the Series. It was an entertaining and stressful series. This was the first one since 1988.

I have had a surreal feeling about the Dodgers win but I was not as elated as I thought I would be. The Dodgers were hands down the best team in baseball and winning the World Series was more of an expectation than an achievement. Maybe I was used to my own annual expression of disappointment the team couldn’t reach the mountaintop.

My only point of reference for championship feelings are the Lakers of the 2000’s and the Pete Carroll USC Trojans. I was far more elated for those championships. I think because those teams always had a finiteness to it. There was always a free agent or draft eligible junior whose absence could make it very difficult to repeat the championship.

The Dodgers do not have that problem. They are loaded to compete for championships for the next three to five years…at least.

 

2. JUSTIN TURNER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

A strange thing that happened during Game 6 of the World Series is Justin Turner was pulled from the game in the eighth inning. It was later disclosed he tested positive for COVID. I find it strange the results were only discovered in the eighth inning. I guess I wrongly assumed that a player would have to test negative before he would be allowed to play in the game.

I was definitely uncomfortable seeing Turner on the field celebrating. I am just going to throw the MLB under the bus for not doing their job before the game. Maybe they knew but they didn’t do anything until they were pretty certain the Dodgers were going to win. Maybe they didn’t want to postpone the World Series to quarantine the players.

3. KEVIN CASH’S DECISION NOT MAKE MONEY

During Game 6, there was a collective exhale of relief when Kevin Cash took the ball away from Blake Snell. Snell was having one of the best outings in World Series history. He had spent five innings baffling the Dodgers.

While this was unusual for the World Series, this was not unusual for the Rays. Blake Snell had not pitched past the sixth inning all season. Cash trusted his bullpen which, it could be argued, was a big part of their success. The move didn’t hold up when they needed it the most.

Unlike the Dodgers, the Rays aren’t built to get back to the World Series. Their window is closing as they let the team options for their important pieces go.

4. MAIL-IN VOTING

94 million mail-in ballots have been cast so far in the 2020 election. That is two thirds of the number of votes cast in the 2016 election. The state of Texas has received more mail-in ballots than they did votes in 2016.

I think there is a collective fear in out country of our vote getting suppressed in one way or another.

5. MAKE SURE YOU VOTE

I voted…did you?

6. HUNTER BIDEN SEX TAPE

Two weeks ago, Rudy Giuliani claimed he had Hunter Biden’s laptop. He also admitted there was a chance the laptop came from Russian intelligence. The laptop didn’t gain any traction. President Trump tried to bring up Hunter at the last debate. That didn’t gain much traction. The week before the election, a Hunter Biden sextape was discovered in Russia. Boy! These guys are desperate.

7.LIL WAYNE AND TRUMP

Watch out hip-hop heads…the President is coming for you.

He stole from Ice Cube’s Contract with Black America to enhance his Platinum Plan. Last week, 50 Cent backed Trump, but then Chelsea Handler slapped some sense into him and he endorsed Biden.

This week, after meeting with Lil Wayne, who Trump called an activist, social media was ablaze. Wayne complimented Trump for criminal justice reform and the Platinum Plan.

I love the talents of Kanye, Ice Cube, and Lil Wayne, but they are not they guys I look to help me make decisions about the future of the country.

8. TOM BRADY & ANTONIO BROWN

Antonio Brown signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Last we saw him, AB was getting cut by the Raiders and the Patriots. He also had some issues with the law. Not exactly the guy you want on your team, but what Tom Brady wants he gets. They made such a connection during Brown’s short stint with the Patriots that AB is living with Brady so he can learn the playbook.

9. RIP SEAN CONNERY

We lost a great one on Saturday. At the ripe age of 90, his performances are too numerous to name. It’s difficult to lose an actor who has brought so much to the table for so long.

10. TREVOR LAWRENCE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID

College football is a very confusing sport. The season has teams starting at different times. Coastal Carolina University is in the AP Top 25. Cincinnati is in the Top 10. USC is ranked #21 and they haven’t played a game yet.

Wisconsin is on quarantine for three weeks.

Trevor Lawrence, the de facto #1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, tested positive for COVID. Clemson barely beat Boston College last week. This week they travel to #4 Notre Dame and Lawrence’s participation is in doubt. The result of the game will have no bearing on Lawrence’s draft status, but it is hard to say the same for Clemson.

 

 

10 Thoughts For The Week of October 25, 2020

Sorry for the delay getting this post out…I think online learning and too many Zoom meetings caught up with me.

1. LOST BORDER CHILDREN

What has to be the most shocking story of the week is the release of ICE losing track of 545 children who were separated from their parents when they were caught crossing the border. The separation was supposed to be a deterrent for future crossers. A common sense assumption for such a deterrent is a plan to reunite the children with their parents. After all, who would want to be responsible for caging and feeding these kids for a long period of time. Maybe they think losing kids will be a bigger deterrent.

2. PASTORS FOR TRUMP

In a survey of Protestant pastors who plan to vote in the presidential election, more than half intend to vote for Donald Trump. The supposed moral leaders of our country have sold their souls to a real estate shyster to overturn Roe v. Wade. I wish they felt as strongly about criminal justice reform or income disparity. I guess they don’t really know what it means when God says “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”

3. E. JEAN CARROLL v. TRUMP

This week the Justice Department attempted to defend Donald Trump in a lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll. She accused Trump of sexual assault. He called her a liar. She filed a slander and defamation lawsuit claiming calling her a liar damaged her reputation. The Justice Department, which should not be the president’s personal attorney, claims they should represent him because he made the statement as part of his job as president and you cannot sue the government for defamation.

4. RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CHARGED WITH HACKING AND ELECTION TAMPERING

The Justice Department, in a completely different move, charged six Russian Intelligence officers with hacking including the 2016 election, the 2018 Winter Olympics and many other events. Just in case there was any dispute about that.

5. 2020 WORLD SERIES

The World Series has been all a baseball fan can ask for. The Dodgers dominated in Game 1 behind Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger. Blake Snell and Brandon Lowe lead the Rays to a win in Game 2.

Game 3 was dominated by Walker Buehler. In Game 4, the Dodgers were let down by their manager and their bullpen. Dave Roberts left Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen on the mound too long and the Rays took advantage.Kershaw was dominant again in Game and the bullpen was solid.

So much of past postseason failures have fallen on Kershaw in an unfair manner in my opinion. I am glad that he has been able to shine this World Series.

6. FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

The presidential debate was a vast improvement from the first debate. The mute button played a big part. I cannot understand why Trump goes out of his way to talk about conspiracy theories. Maybe there are people who see it differently, but I always think that he is shooting himself in the foot. I do understand I am not part of the demographic he is trying to reach. The only thing that makes sense to me is he is getting ready for a civil war and he wants to make sure all the people with guns and crazy agendas know he is with them.

7. TRUMP CHINESE BANK ACCOUNT

The New York Times published a story about the discovery of a bank account in China that was not disclosed on the president’s list of assets. It may be that he has bank accounts everywhere. The fact that the account has never been disclosed before is a little disturbing.

8. 50 CENT SAYS VOTE FROM TRUMP

Last week, I brought up Ice Cube shopping his Contract with Black America plan to both presidential campaigns. This week, 50 Cent announced that he was voting for Trump because he would pay more taxes if Biden was elected.

If I gave Ice Cube flack for trying to help black people, I have to give ten times as much to 50 Cent for just thinking about himself.

 9. GOOGLE ANTITRUST LAWSUIT

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. It is convoluted and will take a long time to work out. All I can really say about the lawsuit is this is just the beginning.

10. PENN STATE BASKETBALL COACH RESIGNS

Pat Chambers, coach of the Penn State basketball team, resigned this week after months of turbulence about a racially insensitive statement he made to a player. He told the player he wanted to “loosen the noose around his neck”. The player blasted the statement all over social media.

I am debating who was right and who was wrong. I was more curious if there was a racially offensive statement I could say to a white person that could cause the same kind of response.

10 Thoughts For the Week of October 18, 2020

1. ACB CONFIRMATION

There is nothing more frustrating than a Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing. Particularly when you only need 50 votes, and you already have them, there is no incentive to honestly ask a question.  Even though she had made statements in the past, she refused to comment on them. She didn’t have any serious skeletons in the closet like Brett Kavanaugh to make things more interesting. I am not sure if there was enough time to dig up the skeletons. Outside of her sexual preference comment, she was backed by people calling her a woman of faith. 

I am glad the Democrats didn’t just sit around trying to trip her up. They made sure to talk about the 215,000 people who have died from COVID-19, Republican hypocrisy and the end of Obamacare. She may be confirmed. But I like the way they didn’t waste their time.

2. NLCS

The Dodgers and the Braves have battled into what is aptly called a championship series. Each team has given the other their best shot. The Brave shut the Dodgers down for the better part of two games. The Dodgers had a 15 run explosion in game three. Atlanta put up 10 runs in Game 4. The Dodgers pounded the Braves at the end of Game 5. Then they put up three runs in the first inning of Game 6 and that was all they needed.  

Game 7 was a battle that was climaxed by Cody Bellinger’s 7th inning home run. Corey Seager was the MVP of the NLCS which he completely deserved. What I was most impressed throughout the series was the Dodgers defense.

3. ALCS

The Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros went the full seven games in their series with the Rays coming out on top. The Astros battled back from being down 3-1 in the series. They were on a mission to clean up their reputation. They were the team everyone couldn’t wait to lose. It would be a great karmic mistake if they were to win the World Series the same year after they were exposed for cheating. 

4. TRUMP AND Q’ANON

The President’s love of conspiracy theories appears to have come back to bite him. During his town hall this week, President Trump was given a chance to denounce Q’Anon. Instead of being rational the president ducked and dodged and made Q’Anon look like white supremacists. 

The whole event was supposed to be an opportunity for the president to bounce back from his terrible showing at the first presidential debate. Unfortunately Trump is a one-trick pony and the trick is not working anymore.

5. TRUMP AND ICE CUBE

So I heard a lot of buzz about Ice Cube being connected to the Trump campaign. I had to get to the bottom of this; so this is what I know. Ice Cube has been shopping his Contract With Black America Plan to both presidential campaigns. He was being courted by both campaigns.

The Trump campaign, desperate for black votes, put in more work. They add one of the items of Ice Cube’s plan to their own. Then Katrina Pierson, a Trump advisor, announced Ice Cube helped the administration with its economic plan. In response, all hell broke loose.

Ice Cube is treating this whole issue like a mercenary. He has more loyalty to his plan and his people than he does to a particular party. I am not sure if that is right or wrong. Trump had four years to do something economically for black people, but has really only made promises in the last six months. I tend to lean toward Diddy’s movement to get rid of Trump.

6. THE TRUMP-WHITMER WAR

Last week, I talked about the plot to kidnap Michigan governor Meg Whitmer. This week another man who was surveilling her home was included in the number of people charged with the conspiracy and it was discovered that the plot included kidnapping Virginia governor Ralph Northam.

Governor Whitmer has gone around calling this incident domestic terrorism. President Trump blames Whitmer and has called her a dictator. I wonder if the president would feel the same way if the FBI had arrested a ring of men plotting to kidnap and execute him. I doubt he would take responsibility and call himself a dictator. He has even brought back the “Lock Her Up” chant…one trick pony

7. THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP

How Hunter Biden’s laptop ended up with Rudy Guiliani is one of the most unbelievable stories in this whole election cycle. It is the equivalent of a murder suspect’s weapon being delivered to the prosecutor’s office. No wonder Facebook and Twitter have marked a New York Post article about the laptop as misinformation. Guiliani himself has acknowledged there is a 50/50 chance the laptop was given to him by the Russians.

8. NEW ZEALAND PM RE-ELECTED IN A LANDSLIDE

Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, won re-election in a landslide this weekend. Her re-election was fueled by the way she handled COVID-19. She swiftly locked down the country and began reopening things back in June. She also brought stability to the country with her leadership.

I know we are not New Zealand, but decisive stable leadership is not how I would describe the president’s response to the pandemic.

9. HUBBLE TELESCOPE SHOWS STARS BEING BORN

No words necessary.

10. 23-0

23-0 is Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s record against his former assistants who have gone on to coach other teams. The big question is why the SEC continues to hire these guys. It is obvious they don’t have the secret sauce.

10 Thoughts for the Week of October 11, 2020

1. WOLVERINE WATCHMEN

On Thursday, the FBI charged six men with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer’s strong response to COVID caught the ire of the conservative militias. I read an article about this militia movement and it made me consider the possibility of a civil war for the first time. These militias believe that such a war is inevitable and I am feeling like I am behind.

2. COVID HITS THE NFL

This past week, the NFL announced sixteen players who had tested positive for COVID. The biggest names were Cam Newton and Stephen Gilmore of the New England Patriots. Games have been postponed and rescheduled. I am a fan of Tuesday night football and I think it is good there have been no fatalities from the illness.

The positive tests seemed almost inevitable when you considered the NFL was not going to play in a bubble like the NBA and the MLB playoffs.

The NFL is a $3 billion industry so it will take multiple deaths to put an end to the season. Especially when they can postpone.

3. VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

When I think of the VP debate on Wednesday, I think I want to answer questions by answering something totally different. I wonder if you can do that in real life. All you have to do is say “that’s a great question” and then you can talk about whatever you want to talk about.

That would have been ok if Vice President Pence didn’t make a scene by constantly speaking over his time limit.

I didn’t think either person won the debate. It was not an event that was going to change peoples’ minds.

4. BIZARRE TRIBE

As a fan of A Tribe Called Quest and the Pharcyde, I had to put this song as one of the best things I heard this week. It is a mash-up of two of my favorite songs of all time.

5. LAKERS WIN THEIR 18TH CHAMPIONSHIP

Afters years of frustration and futility, the Lakers are back on top. Lebron James and Anthony Davis brought the star power. Rajon Rondo, KCP and Adam Caruso came up with the timely plays to seal the deal. This series was a war until Game 6. Hats off to the Heat for a valiant effort. They are going to be battling for titles for the next couple of years.

The Lakers got back on top the Laker way, they brought in the best free agent who can lift the team to the top. They tried it with the draft and player development but that is not the Laker way. It was good to have all that young talent to trade away for Anthony Davis.

6. DODGERS IN THE NLCS…AGAIN

I am excited for the Dodgers as they are back in the National League Championship Series. The Padres tried to give them a battle, but it was a dominant win. The hitting and the starting pitching are top line. The fact they don’t have a lights out closer is a little scary. They are the best team on paper and I worry the pressure is on them to win it all.

7. THE BEST THING I READ THIS WEEK

Violets, by Bud Smith, is a great story about the ups and downs of marriage and the spark that changes everything.

8. COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS

It is hard for me to take the college football ranking seriously when half the teams haven’t played yet or are not playing at all. It is hard for me to believe Cincinnati is ranked eleventh in the country. 

9. COVID SURGE

The rate of COVID cases has surged back up to almost 50,000 new cases a day. Explain it any way you want.

10. RAFAEL NADAL

Congrats to Rafael Nadal who won his 10th Grand Slam Title by winning the French Open. Nadal is truly a legend. He is also not the cookie-cutter tennis player. He was a rival of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. While there are no great American players, this is a great era of tennis.

10 Thoughts For the Week of September 13, 2020

1. 9/11

After 19 years, it is pretty amazing how 9/11 feels as fresh as yesterday. I still remember when I first heard about the planes hitting the tower. I remember going to work and being sent home. It was confusing and slowly developing for someone living in California. I guess that is what they mean when they say “We Will Never Forget”.

2. MILWAUKEE BUCKS

For the second year in a row, the Bucks have had the best record, the best defense, and the best player in the league. For the second year in a row, they didn’t get to the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat played inspired basketball and Giannis got hurt. Outside of Game 4, it didn’t appear the Bucks had the next gear that championship teams have to make it to the next level.

When I look at comparisons, I think of Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers. They were both teams that had spent two or three years to get over the hump.

3. DANUEL HOUSE

When I heard about Danuel House being expelled from the NBA Bubble because he was entertaining one of the on-site testers, I thought of the Morris Day song “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. The players were in the bubble for two and a half months and I guess it was too much for House; or was it love at first sight?

4. LAKERS ARE BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Due to Danuel House’s indiscretions, the Lakers destroyed the Rockets en route to the Western Conference Finals. This is the first time the Lakers have been in the playoffs since Kobe hobbled off with an Achilles injury. I would like to think of them as the favorites but their play has not inspired me they will steamroll the rest of the competition. Truth be told, they are a Dame Lillard injury and a Danuel House expulsion from being in two tough playoff series.

5. R.I.P. TOOTS HIBBERT

The music world lost a legend this week when Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals passed away. Their music was so joyful and Pressure Drop is a classic.

6. BLACK REPUBLICANS

This week, I listened to an interesting podcast about Black Republicans. It was a great conversation about the movement of African Americans from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the last half of the twentieth century. 

What I found most interesting is that as a people African Americans are conservative. They have conservative views, but they have zero tolerance for racism.

7. A COMPETENT PRESIDENT

Last week, I mentioned the challenging opinions of how many people in the United States would have died of COVID. Well German Lopez, of Vox, claims if the US had the same response to COVD that Canada did, 100,000 would still be alive.

8. THE NFL IS BACK

The NFL is back at a time that does not feel as strange as baseball and basketball. After watching the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, I think they are the favorites by a lot. Tom Brady lost his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Bill Belichick looked like he didn’t miss Tom Brady. It’s only Week 1.

9. DOG MAN

Dog Man is a family favorite at my house. The latest installment of the Dog Man saga Dog Man: Grime & Punishment has been the best selling book in North America for the last three weeks.

10. SOCIAL MEDIA & POLITICS

A recent poll from the Pew Research Center asked Americans their opinions about social media platforms’ ability for raising awareness was very surprising to me.

10 Thoughts for the Week of August 22, 2020

1. UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Last Sunday I watched Barcelona and Leonel Messi, arguably the best soccer player in the world, get completely destroyed by Bayern Munich 8-2. It was a straight-up beat down in any language. Soccer is the sort of game where a scoring a goal is equivalent of ten points in American football.

Soccer, much like football, is a game for one single player to dominate. Malcolm Gladwell has a great podcast about it. So much pressure falls on players like Messi and Ronaldo. The board of FC Barcelona was so disappointed, they considered making Messi available for transfer.

Bayern Munich was on collision course with high scoring PSG for the final which resulted in a 1-0 championship win.

2. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

My attention for the DNC was on and off. I didn’t need to be convinced Biden is a better pick than Trump. I uneasily appreciated how the other candidates rallied around Biden. There was a strange was the number Anti-Trump Republicans endorsements also.

3. THE OBAMAS

Seeing the Obamas on Tuesday and Wednesday nights reminded me of what a real President and First Lady look like.

4. AOC

What is up with giving AOC less than five minutes to speak? She is controversial but she needs some shine.

5. KANYE FOR PRESIDENT

Kanye West is getting help from the Trump Campaign to get on the ballot. They believe a vote for Kanye is a vote taken away from Biden.

I love Kanye’s music but I would never consider voting for him to be president. I would think twice about Lebron James long before I would think about Kanye

6. NBA PLAYOFFS – 1st ROUND

When it comes to the NBA playoffs, the matchups make the games interesting.

The Lakers and the Clippers find themselves in tough series because they don’t matchup all that well with Damien Lillard and Luka Donicic.

Denver is an offensive juggernaut but it got matched up with the defensive minded Jazz and Donovan Mitchell.

7. #1 SEEDS

For the first time in 30 years, both #1 seeds lost Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. Both have bounced back to take control of their respective series.

8. THE DODGERS

With 20 wins in this strange 60-game season, the Dodgers have assumed the top spot in the NL West. Mookie Betts is well worth whatever money he is making this year. Cody Bellinger had a slow start, but he has found his stroke. Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are shaping into form.

9. NFL TRAINING CAMPS HAVE STARTED

The NFL season is still three weeks away. It is hard to pay too much attention because there is 8 hours of basketball on everyday. I can barely keep track of MLB.

10. KEEP IT 100

A interesting tidbit from the NFL…Leonard Fournette is pinning $100 bills to his practice jerseys. He says it is a reminder that he needs 100 yards a game to be successful. That is an expensive reminder.

10 Thoughts on George Floyd

  1. Rodney King — This is where it all begins for me. It always goes back there for me.
  2. Ahmad Aubrey — The spark of the latest fire. A jogger is harassed and shot. The video released two months after the fact. I can still see Ahmad trying to run away and collapsing to the ground.
  3. Breonna Taylor — In the past a number of people have died resisting or fleeing from arrest. The death of Breonna Taylor was an example of pure incompetence. The officers who killed her were trying to serve a warrant on the wrong address. The address had actually been canceled earlier in the day.
  4. George Floyd — Another name that I should not know. I am disgusted I know his name the same way I know the Kardashians. I know George Floyd because he died needlessly. I know the Kardashians because they are famous for being famous…I guess.
  5. 8:46 — Eight minutes and forty-six seconds was the amount of time Derrek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. I listened to the audiobook for Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, Gladwell interviews the officers who tortured Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of 911. The torture exercises were timed and extended for the terrorist. The time is there to make sure they torture but do not kill the party. It seems there should be a time limit for kneeling on someone’s neck to make sure you apprehend them but not kill them.
  6. Mama — George Floyd called for his mama while all of this was happening. That indignity angers me more than I can put words to at this time.
  7. Protests — I have watched and taken part in protests in the last couple of weeks. The diversity of the protesters has surprised me in a good way. My inner cynic wants to know where all the “woke” people will be in six months. At first, I was creeped out when I see white people chant “Black Lives Matter”. Then I started thinking that if racism is taught, anti-racism needs to be taught as well.
  8. Trump and His Bible — DISGRACEFUL!!! What was that photo-op supposed to achieve? What was the message supposed to be?”I use violence so I can show the new media I am all about peace”? I am amazed at how many people can’t see through this garbage.
  9. Candace Owens — I appreciate Candace Owens making sure the whole world knew that George Floyd had a criminal record. I guess that makes it ok for what happened. Did he deserve to die? She is up there with the Kardashians for me.
  10. Rashard Brooks — Another name I should not know. He fell asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru. Then he was shot in the back by a cop. He did struggle and he did run away. Is falling asleep in a Wendy’s drive-thru the type of crime that puts the whole city in danger? If he got away, couldn’t you arrest him later?

10 Thoughts for the week of March 19-25

  1. March For Our Lives –  Gun control may not happen overnight, but I believe this is the beginning of something. Even polls on Fox News are favorable to make some changes.
  2. The Final Four – So excited about the Final Four. Loyola Chicago is taking the tournament by storm. Villanova is the best team left; but anything else can happen. I have to confess, I am so glad that Duke is done for the season.
  3. Stephon Clark Shooting – Makes me afraid to be around police with my phone in my hand. Dude was shot twenty times in his own backyard.
  4. NFL Free Agency – Eric Reid says he hasn’t found a team yet because he was taking a knee next to Kaepernick. He doesn’t realize that Earl Thomas may be traded and Tyrann Mathieu is looking for a team. There is also Kenny Vicarrio.
  5. My NFL Mock Draft – Top Ten Picks
    1. Cleveland – Sam Darnold
    2. NY Giants – Nick Chubb
    3. NY Jets – Josh Rosen
    4. Cleveland – Quenten Nelson
    5. Denver – Josh Rosen
    6. Indianapolis – Minkah Fitzpatrick
    7. Tampa Bay – Derwin James
    8. Arizona – Josh Allen
    9. San Francisco – Denzel Ward
    10. Oakland – Roquan Smith
  6. Russell Westbrook is almost averaging a triple-double.
  7. NBA Playoff Western Conference Thoughts – Melo is shooting the Thunder out of the playoffs.  I have watched Melo lose two games for the Thunder. As close as the standings are in the West, they need those wins. The Spurs are back. Even without Kawhi, they are ballin out and made sure they made it to the playoffs. I love James Harden, but, sometimes I hate watching him play. He looks like all he is trying to do is catch fouls. I find myself screaming “just ball out!”.
  8. NBA Playoff Eastern Conference Thoughts – Eric Bledsoe cannot shoot and it is hurting the Bucks. Really impressed with the Wizards and think they are going to take off when John Wall comes back. Not sure about the Celtics now that Kyrie is out of six weeks.
  9. Rookie of the Year –  This year’s race for Rookie of the Year is going to be the closest I can remember. I could give it to either guy right now.
  10. The Shape of Water – I finally saw The Shape of Water and I could see why it won Best Picture. The story is good and the visuals were artsy. I enjoyed it, but I am not sure I will be talking about it in five years.

10 Thoughts for the Week of March 12-18

It has been a while since my last post. Lately, I have been having the feeling that it is time to start again. So, here we go.

  1. Trump Fires Tillerson – As usual, Trump fired another cabinet member who disagreed with him. That way he could appoint Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, because he would not need a confirmation hearing. I feel bad for Tillerson; it appears he found out he was fired via Twitter. He was a terrible Secretary of State; but I am not sure that was his fault. Trump appears to have the tendency to change his mind on a daily basis.
  2. Connor Lamb Wins – Connor Lamb won a Pennsylvania Congressional seat on Tuesday. Another seat that was turned blue. I am not a fan of large majorities in either house. I like the idea that these politicians have to compromise and not just shove in any kind of legislation down the throats of the American people.
  3. Metu Sits Out of NIT Tournament – USC was already bummed they were not in the NCAA tournament. Then on Monday, junior forward Chimezie Metu decided to sit out the NIT tournament to protect his draft status.  I guess you can liken it to football players sit out bowl games. Bowl games are not that meaningful and they are meaning less and less each year. I would guarantee that none of them would sit out the national championship game. So I guess the question is what is the difference between the NCAA tournament and the NIT tournament? Is an NIT championship the same thing as a Peach Bowl win?
  4. NBA Playoff Picture Eastern Conference – With one month left in the regular season, the playoff race has been heating up. Three and a half games separate the third team and the eight team in the Eastern Conference. I hope things stay pat in the standings. I would love to see a series with the Cavs versus the Sixers. A Celtics/Bucks series is appealing as well. Any series with the Greek Freak is appealing.
  5. NBA Playoff Picture Western Conference – Four and a half games separate the third team and the eight team in the Western Conference. The Spurs are in the 7th seed as we speak and there is a chance they don’t even make the playoffs. Minnesota is sitting in the 8th seed praying for Jimmy Butler to come back. The first round of the Western Conference is not that appealing to me yet.
  6. NCAA Tournament – This has been the most amazing weekend of the tournament that I can remember. I love the tournament. Most games seem to find their way to being a close game with five minutes left and the team that wants to win the most wins. I shed no tears with seeing Virginia, Arizona and North Carolina going home early. I feel bad for Miami; all they had to do is make a free throw and it was game over. The Michigan shot is all that the tournament is all about.  Florida State made an amazing comeback against top-seeded Xavier.
  7. One and Done Rule – I listened to the Bill Simmons podcast with Chuck Klostermann the other day. They were talking about the one and done rule and it made me think. I think these guys benefit from a few months of college before they turn pro. I was also thinking that if there were no one and done players, the NCAA tournament would still be the NCAA tournament. The quality of basketball would not fall off to the point that people would not be drawn to the tournament the way that people are not really into the College World Series.
  8. McCabe Firing – Jeff Session fired Andrew McCabe a few days before he retired and left his pension in question. Trump made sure to get on Twitter and boast about the firing. According to his statement, McCabe had contact with the press under the guidelines of his job. Only two Republicans have spoken out against the firing. The rest, including Jeff Sessions, remain silent. Trump is the sort of person that needs to be punched in the nose for behaving badly. Otherwise, silence is like giving him permission to act worse.
  9. Sprinkles is Overrated – After waiting in line for 20 minutes and paying $4 for a cupcake, I have decided that Sprinkles is overrated. I don’t get the return on investment when it comes to the cupcake. I am not discriminating on cupcakes. I have waited a longer time for more expensive food and felt it was not overrated.
  10. Trump Trying to Fire Mueller – The latest news is that Trump is trying to get Mueller fired. That could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.