Football Season is Upon Us

It’s that great time of the year, when fall is in the air, your favorite team plays Friday Nights, Saturday, or Sunday. College Game Day is on Saturday. Pro Game Day is on Sunday morning. Your favorite team is undefeated, as are the Minnesota Vikings.

Expectations are high for the Vikings. At this point in the season, Cousins will be All-Pro and lead us to the Super Bowl. Likewise Dalvin Cook will lead the league in rushing. The Vikings have the best receiving duo in the NFL. They still have question marks on the Offensive Line, but they will get that figured out.

Their defense is still the best in the NFL. The front four has been enhanced with the addition of Sheldon Richardson. The linebacking crew is outstanding. They added a All-Pro Safety in George Iloka. The corners Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes will have learned how to cover. Don’t forget our first round draft pick, Mike Hughes who should crack the starting lineup early in the season.

Then the real world hits!!!

Our new kicker misses a chip shot for a victory. One of our defensive starters will be out for the season. One of our key offensive weapons will be out for the season. Cousins gets hit hard and often, because they never fixed the offensive line, and is playing injured.

Since I have several Vikings on my fantasy team, I’ve given up, and don’t even submit a lineup anymore.

Well, at least I can look forward to next year!!!

NBA Finals Belong to Durant

Prior to writing this post, I must tell you that I am a strong fan of LeBron James, and therefore the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The NBA Finals have concluded. The Golden State Warriors were the victors in 4 games, as was expected. I do believe the Cavs were cheated out of game 1, by the ridiculous referee calls. Had Cleveland won one on the road, against the Warriors, it could have been a different series. I have a tough time determining who won the series , the Warriors or the referees.

They named Kevin Durant MVP, which certainly was the right call. I have never seen a performance in the Finals, better than Durant in the third game. His stats were as follows.

  • He hit a laser 3-pointer, from 7 feet beyond the arc, to seal the victory.

  • He scored a personal playoff high, of 43 points.

  • He was 15 of 23 from the field; 13 rebounds; 7 assists.

  • Many of his shots stopped min-runs by the Cav’s.

  • Unconscious, Unbelievable, Best shooting ever, were comments I heard.

No doubt, Durant put the Warriors on his back in game 3. What makes the Warriors so tough, is having other players, that can take over a game, as well, such as Curry in game 4. When called upon Thompson, and Green can be difference makers as well. So, defensively no one can slack off, any these guys, or take a mini-rest.

Let’s hope LeBron joins a team, that can challenge these Warriors.

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Lindsay Whalen: A Winner

The University of Minnesota made a great move in hiring Lindsay Whalen, as their next basketball coach.  Athletic Director Coyle, the robotic mouthpiece for University President Kaler (really the athletic director) got lucky in being able, to convince her to join the Gopher program. The funny thing is the search committee, hadn’t had a chance to meet before the hiring. Kind of shows the inefficiency, and lack of credibility, of a search committee.

The saga began in Hutchinson, MN., in 1995 when Lindsey was in 8th grade and started for the varsity. She led them to 3 consecutive conference championships, was all-state 4 consecutive years, highlighted by winning the state championship in her senior year.

She went on to the University of Minnesota, where she starred for 4 years and achieved the following:

  • All-time leading scorer, scoring average, free throws made, and %.

  • Top Five in assists, steals, 3 pointers made, 3 point %.

  • Led the Gophers to the Final Four in 2004.

  • Named Gopher MVP 4 consecutive years.

  • Avg. attendance in her freshman year, 1,087 to 9,866 her senior year.

On to the Pros, where she has spent 14 years in the WNBA, the last 7 years with the Minnesota Linx, leading them to 4 World Championships.

She is the absolute best pick they could have ever made. What it takes to be a good college coach is 1.) recruiting, and 2.) communication with your players, meaning you are current with what’s happening with the evolution of the game. She is and has been the poster child for Minnesota basketball for over 15 years. She already has some recruiting wins

With 14 years as a point guard in the WNBA, you know she has the X’s and O’s figured out.

Timberwolves Blow a Golden Opportunity

Following game 3 of their first round playoff with Houston, after winning the game 122 to 104, the fans were as high, as they have ever been. It would be interesting to see, what season ticket sales, for next year, were sold. It was virtually impossible to get a ticket for game four.

Comments heard upon leaving the Target Center, after game 3, were:

  • “They figured Harden out, and should shut him down, for the rest of the series”.

  • “We’ve got 3 of the biggest future stars, in the league”.

  • “We’ve got 3 point shooters, we just had to give them a chance”.

  • “I’m getting season tickets next year”.

  • “Isn’t Teague great”?

Comments heard leaving Target Center after game 4, in which the Timberwolves lost by over 20, and gave up 50 points, in the 3rd quarter.

  • “We’ve got to get rid of Thibideau”.

  • “Their shot selection was horrible”.

  • “Can you believe the Timberwolves gave Wiggins a max contract”.

  • “Town’s looked like an uncoordinated high schooler”.

  • “There was no set offense, no coaching”.

  • “They don’t have anybody that can hit the three, regularly”.

The third quarter of game 3 with Houston, showed the Timberwolves, there’s a major difference between the regular season, and playoff basketball. The wolves could play with anyone during the regular season, and no one during the playoffs.

The really sad part was, they had an opportunity to build their fan base, if they had given the Rockets at least a competitive game.

 

Who Can Master The Masters?

I am looking forward to the 2018 Masters, more than any I can remember. Much of it because Tiger is back playing well, and could be in the hunt. Then there’s Phil, Jordan, Bubba, Sergio, DJ, Justin, and all those young bucks coming up.

My wife asked me the other day who I thought would win. I hadn’t even thought about that. I was just looking at the worlds best, in a great competition, settled by a 80 foot put on 18. There are so many playing great golf right now. So let me tell you my favorite:

Phil Mickelson: At 47, Playing some of his best golf. Won 2 weeks ago. Has won 3 green jackets, so he knows how to play Augusta.

Jordan Spieth: Playing good golf. Always in the hunt. His putter was betraying him, but appears to have improved, after a few practices with Brad Faxon.

Tiger Woods: He’s been in the hunt in his last 3 tournaments. You all know how Tiger gets up for the majors. I wouldn’t vote it out. He needs to control his drives, so that the position of his ball, is in the right location, in relation to the pin placement.

Bubba Watson: Has won 2 Masters. Playing great right now. Won the Match Play tournament 2 weeks ago. His accuracy off the tee is worth a couple of shots.

Sergio Garcia: Has been a great player for over 15 years, on the tour. Knows how to win, especially at Augusta, last year’s winner.

Justin Thomas: The real up and comer. Last Years Fed Ex Champ. Has already won 3 times this year. In an interview I saw, he said he is working on controlling his temper. If he is in the hunt could his temper be a factor.

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Dustin Johnson: Hold’s the # 1 ranking in the world. Is playing well. 3 top 5’s in the past month. He probably has elevated desire to win, based on the fact he had to withdraw last year.

Jason Day: Great young golfer. His recent game isn’t up to his s, but if he coluld start off good, it could propel him to have an outstanding Masters.

Rory McElroy: When McElroy is playing well, he has a real bounce in his step, and an amiable smile on his face. He’s back, and playing great golf.. He has a strong desire to complete the career Grand Slam. Could it be his week?

Matt Kuchar: I’ve been a fan of Kuchar’s since he played at Georgia Tech, and won the low amateur at the 1996 Masters. He is playing the best golf of his career, and has been on the leaderboard, almost every week. I can’t believe, he hasn’t won more on the tour.

That really didn’t pick a winner. So here goes with my top 3:

Phil Mickelson,  Tiger Woods,  Matt Kuchar

King James Sits Alone Atop The Throne

LeBron James scored in double figures for his 867th straight game on Friday Night, setting a record that will be hard to surpass. He had been tied with Michael Jordan.

He accepted the game ball, lifted it over his head, and took time to soak up the cheering crowd, who just witnessed history, and then immediately returned to work.

Following the game, James commented “That’s a good moment, a special moment for my family and for so many kids that look up to me for inspiration, to know that you can actually go out there, and do it and know where I’ve come from”.

James finished the game with 27 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds, in beating the visiting New Orleans Hornets 107-102. The Cavs are currently sitting in 3rd place, in the NBA’s Eastern conference, assured of making the playoffs.

James and the reworked personnel, are still working to achieve a strategy, and an overall fit, for each of the new team members. I’m sure that James will have them ready for the Playoffs.

Chicago White Sox Bring Back Ex-Con as Groundskeeper

Have you heard about the guy released from prison, after serving 23 years, and getting his old job back, with the Chicago White Sox?

It’s true! Nevest Coleman was convicted of murder and rape in 1994, and sentenced to life in prison. The prosecutor originally was pushing for the death penalty, but backed down, after hearing from several character witnesses.

Recent DNA testing showed that a serial rapist committed the crime, leading to the release of Nevest Coleman, in November of 2017.  Coleman was working as a grounds keeper, for the Chicago White Sox, at the the time of his conviction.

After Colemans release his family and friends contacted he White Sox championing to get his old job back . The team gave him a job interview and soon welcomed him back to his old job as groundskeeper at Guaranteed Rate Field — formerly known as Comiskey Park.

“Glad to see him out. Glad to see him back,” said Jerry Powe, who testified on Coleman’s behalf as a character witness at his trial and who is now his supervisor. “I’m so happy for him, me and the White Sox.”

 

Chicago White Sox groundskeeper Nevest Coleman, center, laughs with friend and fellow grounds crew Harry Smith Jr., left, and friend and now supervisor Jerry Powe, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Monday, March 26, 2018. The Chicago Tribune reports that DNA evidence led prosecutors last year to vacate the conviction of 49-year-old Nevest Coleman. He'd been convicted in a 1994 rape and murder. He was released from prison in November and declared innocent last month. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Chicago White Sox groundskeeper Nevest Coleman, center, laughs with friend and fellow grounds crew Harry Smith Jr., left, and friend and now supervisor Jerry Powe.  (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune via AP) 

With all the bad stuff you hear on the news every nite, it’s heartwarming to hear a story like this, and in a small way its sports related.