As the calendar turns to June, and the humidity rises to 150% in Southeast Tennessee, we are really longing for some actual sports to be played so we can sit inside in the air conditioning and watch other people exercise. In an effort to give us all some hope, let’s take a look at where things stand with our various sports leagues.
The NBA appears ready to return in a modified format, starting July 31 in Orlando, with 22 teams. For a more complete breakdown of what we know and don’t know yet about how this will work is outlined here, but here are a couple quick notes:
- Why 22 teams? According to the article, “it was a largely invented metric.” We’ve had 3 months of the supposed best minds in basketball trying to find a solution to finish the season and we just made up a number of teams? Magnificent work guys.
- Per the article, “the primary reason is money.” No kidding. By adding the extra teams and in turn, extra games, it reduces the overall loss of salary from $645 million to around $350 million.
- We read somewhere that the families of the players will not be allowed to go into Disney parks because everyone will have to be in “the bubble.” We’re fairly confident that most of the families will say thanks, but no thanks. We’ll stay in our mansions in our hometown where we can do what we want…but we’ll miss you Dad! (And yes, we realize not every basketball player lives in a mansion. Lighten up, Francis)
While this seems incredibly gimmicky and forced, we aren’t complaining, and we look forward to this mini-season and playoffs. Our bigger question is how this impacts next season and beyond. So, we came up with an idea for next year and frankly, every year from now on, to make the NBA season more interesting.
Get rid of the divisions and conferences. There are 30 NBA teams, so each team plays a home and home with every other team. Rank the teams 1-16 based on record and start the playoffs. It would reduce the total number of games, shorten the season, and create more urgency for the regular season games that are played. No one cares about the divisions – of the six of you reading this, our guess is 1 of you might be able to tell us the names of the divisions and no one could correctly place all teams in the appropriate divisions. Rivalries don’t exist in the NBA in the way they used to as a result of free agency and the prevalence of players changing teams. Rivalries follow the players, not the teams. You’re welcome Adam Silver.
We have no idea and don’t feel like looking it up. Instead, we would like to reminisce on the 2-year anniversary of the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup and the Ovechkin-led bender that might still be going on. Our personal favorite was swimming in a Georgetown fountain, which took place 3 days after they actually won the Stanley Cup. Incredible.
What a disaster. A few days ago, the players “resoundingly rejected” an offer from the owners and talks are at a standstill. The crux of the issue seems to be player salaries, as there was an agreement in March that laid out what the players would be paid, but now the owners don’t want to pay that amount. You can find plenty of long, exhaustive articles detailing the stances of both groups, but in our opinion, none of that matters. Make a deal to figure something out for this season. We haven’t done any official polling, but we’re going to assume the American public currently could care less about millionaires arguing over billions of dollars. Play, or we’ll move on to something else.
Aside from Roger Goodell having to publicly admit he, and the league, were wrong in how they reacted to the Colin Kaepernick-led protesting of police brutality, we have the feeling he is glad the George Floyd murder and ensuing public unrest has totally distracted everyone from the Coronavirus pandemic. Because we all know the NFL is playing games and shoving as many fans into the stands as they possibly can. Why? Dollar, dollar bills, y’all.
As an aside, Roger Goodell filmed the league’s apology from his basement, where he also hosted the NFL draft. Do you think his wife allows him in the rest of the house?
RG: Honey, I need to come upstairs to put on a clean shirt to film this video to apologize for systemic racism and blackballing a player for protesting police killing black people.
Mrs. G: Roger, here’s a sweatshirt. Leave me alone and go back to “filming your videos.”
RG: But I’d really like to showe—
Mrs. G: (Slamming the door to the basement and pouring another glass of chardonnay).
Anyway, the NFL will start on schedule.
Golf returns this week in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, TX. No fans will be allowed, but it is one of the strongest fields you will ever see for a non-major or World Golf Championship. We can’t wait. We’ll try to have a full preview at some point this week, but we’re giddy.
Additionally, we are also playing in a golf “tournament” on Saturday, which coincidentally will not have fans present either. The pros – they’re just like us!
The Premier League returns on June 17 for a 9-game coronation of Liverpool as champions. It has been a dream season for Liverpool, who sit atop the table with a mere 25-point lead over second-place Manchester City. At this point, the only way Liverpool could not win the league is to lose every remaining game and have Man City win every remaining game. Considering Liverpool’s record of 27-1-1, it would seem unlikely for that to happen. So, for Liverpool’s long-suffering fans, the 30-year title drought will end this summer.
At one point during the Work Hangover 1.0, we went through an exercise to select a Premier League team to follow. We selected Liverpool, and even bought a pair of Liverpool shorts. We were really dedicated for about one season, and we have misplaced the shorts. We plan on celebrating Ovechkin-style when our Liverpool clinches the title.
Two weeks ago, the Coronavirus was the biggest obstacle to college football returning. Now, incidents at Florida State, Clemson and Iowa related to the alleged racist treatment of players brings another challenge to the forefront. The members of football teams are realizing the influence they have to affect change, and they are gaining their voice. Coaches have been itching to get players back on campus under the guise of getting them “ready to play this fall”, but the reality is football coaches can’t stand not being in control, and when the guys on the team aren’t on campus, they cannot impose schedules on them to ensure they are doing the types of things they want. Now, these young men are in their home communities, and with social media, have a voice that reaches far and wide and they are empowered by the world around them to speak out. We’re guessing we have only scratched the surface of players who have experienced some of the same things that the Clemson, FSU, and Iowa players have said they experienced.
But, in terms of college football being played in September, yeah, it will happen.
We’re assuming, hoping, and praying that college basketball will be played. And be we, we mean everyone but Oklahoma State, who was just hit with some pretty severe penalties as a result of findings in the FBI case. Reasonable minds can argue if not allowing the 2020-21 OSU basketball team to play in the postseason as a result of a former assistant coach taking bribe money is a fair punishment, but what you can’t argue is the precedent is sets for the other schools who have been named in the FBI investigation. Yes, we’re looking at you, Kansas. Say hello, Arizona. LSU – there you are!
In a discussion with several of the brightest minds in college athletics last night (#SPADStrong), we discussed the complete hypocrisy in returning students to college campuses. We will separate you during your classes, but we’re going to cram you into dorms together and just ask really nicely that you don’t, you know, have fun, and socialize. And from what we remember, that was the only part of college that was enjoyable. But, it’s admittedly hazy.
As a follow up to last week’s edition, you’ll be pleased to know our ice inventory has been sufficiently restocked. We know you were worried.
Stay safe out there friends.