Well, that plan lasted all of one week. We didn’t get to this by Friday, so we have a new plan. We’re assuming no one noticed. Nevertheless, this week was one where some real, actual, ‘Murican sports actually took place. No more of this Korean Baseball at 5am. And by ‘Murican, we mean the German Bundesliga.
Pro Sports…On TV!
Listen, at this point, we’re all just grasping for whatever we can get, especially those of us who write critically acclaimed sports blogs. So, if that means spending our Saturday morning watching Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke, then dammit, we’re going to watch Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke. This actual match is interesting for two main reasons.
First, it’s our first experience watching a match in a large stadium without any fans. Well, other than Miami Marlins games. And it’s weird. If you’ve ever watched European football, the passion of the fans comes through with constant songs, cheering, and whistling. And the occasional brawl between opposing fans. There are no sound effects that can replicate that energy. So, even for the fans at home, which is, you know, all of them, it’s not as good of an experience. And I’m sure there will be matches where the action on the field lacks that energy that can be generated from the fans. But, hey, we’ll take what we can get.
Second, the match includes a couple young Americans who figure to be prominent players for our national team. Weston McKinnie starts in the midfield for Schalke and Dortmund has the 17-year-old phenom Gio Reyna. Reyna, whose father Claudio was one of the stars of US Soccer in the 90s and early 2000s, is likely to follow in his father’s rather significant footsteps. And, did we mention he is 17? Assuming we can have sports by then, the 2026 World Cup in the United States will feature a 23-year-old Reyna and 27-year-old Christian Pulisic leading the way. Might as well go ahead and just give us the trophy now.
And now…they’re turning left.
NASCAR returned on Sunday, and we gotta be honest, we could care less. Now, we know that NASCAR has its legions of fans, we don’t want to upset them. Fortunately, it’s unlikely they are able to read so we should be safe. I kid! I kid!
We have attended a couple NASCAR races in our day, and had a great time. If there is something that NASCAR has going for it during this time, it is the fact that the fan reactions aren’t really a part of the telecast. We’ve never driven a stock car, but we’re assuming that they aren’t able to hear the fans. Sure, they can see them, so it will be different for the drivers. But the viewing experience watching at home won’t be as impacted. Or at least we don’t think it would be. Not that we’re going to find out.
Breaking news: 4 people hitting a golf ball occasionally and walking for four hours!
Listen, we’re self-aware enough to realize that for as much as find watching cars turn left for 500 miles intolerable, many of you likely feel the same way about watching golf. But, on Sunday, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson take on Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolfe in a skins match at Seminole Golf Club. We’ve addressed this before, so we won’t dig too deep on this, but we’re excited.
We also finally have some details of the Phil Mickelson & Tom Brady vs. Tiger Woods & Peyton Manning match. Next Sunday, May 24 at 3pm at Medalist Golf Club. Between getting to see another famous, and extremely private club, and watching these four compete, it’s going to be a fun Sunday. Brady and Manning are two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and one would infer from that fact that they are fairly decent athletes. They both have handicaps in the single digits, which is well above average so they would beat most weekend golfers pretty easily. Well, this is your chance to see how good pros are in comparison to above average amateur golfers. Spoiler alert – they are a lot better.
Wait. You mean Zion didn’t turn down $100k from Kansas to play at Duke for no money whatsoever?
Zion Williamson is an incredible basketball talent, and by all accounts, seems to be a great personality. That last sentence is the nicest thing we’ve ever written about a Duke basketball player. With that said, we should remember that he’s only 19 years old. So, when he was 16 and 17, he, like the rest of us, was influenced by his parents and the various authority figures in his life. And those people, it would appear, wanted to profit off of Zion’s immense basketball abilities.
During the FBI investigation into Adidas and their payments to high school basketball players, it was revealed that a family member of Zion asked Adidas for $100,000 in exchange for Zion’s commitment to play at Kansas. Well, Zion didn’t play at Kansas. After Zion’s season at Duke, he declared for the draft and signed with an agent. Later, he switched agents and the first agent is not happy about it (understandably). So, she is suing anyone and everyone, and as part of those lawsuits she is alleging that someone affiliated with Duke University in some way paid members of Zion’s family and he magically committed to Duke, which was generally a surprise to those who follow these things. Essentially, she’s going to do everything she can to get put Zion in a position to make Duke, Krzyzewski and everyone he cares about look bad, presumably in an effort to get him to settle. If you happen to like to see bad things happen to Duke basketball, you may enjoy following this situation.
So, was Zion likely ineligible during this tenure at Duke? Yes. Will Duke face any real repercussions? Probably not. And if by chance the NCAA vacates any wins from that season, we’re confident Krzyzewski will appeal to have those losses applied to Jon Scheyer’s coaching record, and then fire Scheyer. Damn back pain is acting up again. Retroactively.
Congrats on the UCLA AD job…now fix our $19 million deficit in the midst of a global pandemic
UCLA is one of the premier universities and athletic departments in the history of college athletics. To the untrained eye, their AD job should be one of the best jobs out there. You can win championships in every sport you play at a place like UCLA. The school is one of the most impressive public universities in the world. But, last year, they ended up with a $19 million budget deficit. And this year, well, it doesn’t look a lot better. And apparently, a former UCLA student-athlete who is a sitting Group of 5 AD removed herself from consideration. In the end, Martin Jarmond left the AD post at Boston College for UCLA. Jarmond, a former UNCW basketball player is a really personable, charismatic person which should play well in LA but has yet to really show his chops at as AD. Best of luck to him – he’s got his hands full.
I’d definitely rather play for Mike Locksley than Nick Saban
Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother, announced he was transferring from Alabama and this week ended up committing to Maryland. We’re guessing he is close with Locksley from his time as an assistant at Alabama, but really? Locksley record as a head coach is 6-40. Saban’s is 243-65-1. Good call, Taulia.
Hey Doc, I got a little bursitis in my shoulder. Do you recommend heat or ice?
We lost one of the great comedic geniuses of our time this week, with the passing of Fred Willard. Willard had many classic roles, and generally nailed them all. Our favorites are Ed Harken from Anchorman (I have no idea where he would have gotten a hold of German pornography…) and Buck Laughlin in Best in Show. For your viewing pleasure, here’s Buck Laughlin during the Hound portion of the event.
Since it doesn’t get any better than that, we’re not even going to try. RIP, Fred.