Today’s theme is a bunch of complaints. Some are my own complaints. Some are complaints about complaints. Are we really freaking out about the Pro Bowl? How ridiculous are MLB contracts? I cannot stand the way college football is divided. And how come RBs can’t get any love in the Heisman voting?
Who cares about the Pro Bowl?
There was a story over the weekend that fans have been signing a petition to get former NFL QB Mike Vick removed from his role as honorary captain of the 2020 Pro Bowl. I have a few questions. First off, what does an honorary captain even do? And second, will 1/10th of these people even watch the Pro Bowl??
This is basically just complaining for the sake of complaining. First of all, in no way shape or form am I defending Mike Vick or forgiving his actions and his involvement in dog fighting. But, I can respect the fact that he went to jail, lost everything he had and had to rebuild his life. The NFL has chosen a stance that they support second chances, as evidenced by the Pro Bowl honor for Vick.
My biggest issue is the simply fact that 500,000 people have signed this petition, yet every year we hear how “no one watches the Pro Bowl” or no one cares about it. Well, clearly, at least 500,000 people care.
Did those same people care that Kareem Hunt scored a touchdown on Sunday for the Browns? Adrian Peterson played on Sunday, remember his issues?
There are a lot of guys in the NFL who did horrible things and didn’t go to jail, didn’t lose their jobs, didn’t lose everything. Vick did. Maybe you think he deserves a second chance, maybe you don’t think that. It’s okay to disagree. But in this case, the people complaining about his presence at the most meaningless football game of the year, are just complaining for the sake of complaining.
Power 5 is the Privileged 5
College football is divided into two sectors – the “power 5” and the “group of five”. The power 5 is considered ACC, Big Ten, SEC, PAC-12, Big 12 and Notre Dame. The group of five is simply everyone else (AAC, Mt West, Sun Belt, C-USA, MAC, Independents). I hate it. It’s an ESPN-created term and it’s pretty meaningless. Instead of saying power 5, it should be referred to as privileged 5.
“Wins against P5 teams” are an actual metric used by folks when comparing teams. But it’s an utterly useless and meaningless metric. For example, the AAC as a whole beat 6 P5 teams in 2019. None had a record over .500. Mountain West beat 9 P5 teams. None had a record over .500.
Schools like Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Kansas aren’t powerful, they are privileged. They ride the coattails of teams like Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma and pull in significant annual revenues because of their conference affiliation. TV money is a big thing and obviously the level of competition is exciting to players and fans.
That’s what makes this divide so frustrating. Schools like Boise St, Memphis, Cincinnati, UCF, Appalachian State deserve a seat at the table. They deserve opportunities against good teams in good bowl games on ESPN way more than some of these privileged schools do.
But such is life in college football. Instead, a Virginia team that lost 62-17 in their last game gets the honor of getting destroyed by Florida in the Orange Bowl. A 10-3 Cincinnati team that lost their conference championship game, gets the honor of playing a 6-6 Boston College team in a crappy city (Birmingham). Appalachian State went 12-1 and their reward is the New Orleans Bowl against the RUNNER UPS of Conference USA (not even the champs!). All this while, 7-5 Texas goes to the prestigious Alamo Bowl on New Year’s Eve to play 11-2 Utah.
Gerrit Cole signs record contract
Folks – if you are going to have a son, raise him to be a pitcher, or a baseball player in general. Gerrit Cole, formerly of the Pirates and Astros, signed a ridiculous 9 year $324 million contract with the NY Yankees on Tuesday night.
I don’t think anyone on the planet deserves to make $35 million a year. Maybe the police or fire departments as a whole? You certainly can’t justify to me that that much money for a guy who only needs to work once every five days is worth it. I get it, they are probably going to win the 2020 World Series now, so from that stand-point it’s worth it. But from a practical, economic stand-point? It’s insane!
On Monday, it was revealed that the four Heisman finalists, who will travel to NYC on Saturday night, are LSU QB Joe Burrow (who is going to win), Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Ohio State LB Chase Young, and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts.
A few fun facts:
- Amazing that Burrow, Fields, and Hurts all transferred from other schools
- 3 of the 4 used to play for Ohio State (Burrow)
- Fifth straight year with an Oklahoma Sooner in the Top 4 (2018 – Kyler Murray won; 2017 – Baker Mayfield won; 2016 – Baker Mayfield finished 3rd, Dede Westbrook finished 4th; 2015 – Baker Mayfield finished 4th)
Where are the running backs?
I know Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram recently won Heisman Trophies, but they played for Alabama. If Jonathan Taylor or Chuba Hubbard played for Alabama, would they be finalists this year?
Look at the career numbers for Taylor at Wisconsin.
Hubbard ran for 1,936 yards and 21 TDs for Oklahoma State. If he played for Oklahoma or any other playoff team, there’s no doubt he would have been in the top 3-4 finalists.
Not that any of this matters, because Joe Burrow should win almost unanimously.
NFC East Records
We know the NFC East stinks in 2019. The Cowboys and Eagles are tied for the division at 6-7. But the division has been a big success for other teams looking to compete in the playoffs this year, as these 4 teams have helped enhance many others’ records.
Records vs NFC East in 2019
- Vikings 4-0
- Patriots 4-0
- Cowboys 4-0
- Jets 3-1
- Bills 3-1
- Packers 3-1
- Bears 3-1
- Eagles 2-1
- Lions 2-2
What to Watch – 12/11
Kawhi Leonard returns to Toronto on Wednesday night as the Clippers take on the Raptors at 7pm on ESPN.
He deserves a unanimous and lengthy standing ovation tonight and I trust the good people of Toronto will acknowledge him.