Friday Quick Hits
It’s a great time of year for sports. Both pro and college football are in full swing. The MLB playoffs are quickly approaching, preseason hockey is underway, and basketball is just around the corner. Fall is officially upon us and I couldn’t be happier. And on that note, since I have sports to watch and nice weather to enjoy, I’ll make this quick….
What Can Brown Do For You?
Count me as one of those not surprised that SMU head basketball coach Larry Brown has run afoul of the NCAA again. This time it’s on the Hilltop of course, where the newly levied sanctions will keep the Mustangs from postseason participation this coming spring. They’ll also have to forfeit nine scholarships over the next three years and live with probation during that same time frame. Brown, for his part, will serve a nine game suspension to start the season.
Brown has previously left his mark in college hoops of course – both good and bad. A couple reminders in case the ol’ memory has gotten foggy; the Hall-of-Famer led his freshman-dominated 1979–80 UCLA Bruins team to the NCAA title game before ultimately falling to Louisville. However, that appearance was later vacated by the NCAA after two players were found to be ineligible. The in 1988 he won the NCAA Championship while coaching Danny Manning and Kansas, but found himself and his Jayhawks banned from participation in the 1989 NCAA tournament due to multiple infractions- the first NCAA basketball champion to be barred from defending its title.
Brown didn’t stick around long after either penalty was enforced, both times jumping ship to the NBA the next season. As of now the 75-year-old Brown says he has no plans to step down. I say wait and see.
Rangers Clinch Wild Card – More Work to Do
The Rangers clinched a wild card spot with their 5-3 win over the Angels last night in Arlington. Their magic number is down to one, so if they just win one of their three remaining games, they’ll win the division (no matter what else happens) and avoid the drama that is the one-game wild card play-in.
I admit the play-in game is must watch sports, but it’s also strange to me that MLB doesn’t bump it to a best of five series (or 2 out of 3?). It is such a sudden end to a season for the losing team in a league that plays a grueling 162 game schedule, that it seems like an awfully cruel and sudden way to be eliminated from postseason play.
I was at the 2012 wild card game between the Orioles and the Rangers at what was then called the Ballpark in Arlington. The 46,931 in attendance could do nothing to help the home town boys along as they meekly bowed to Baltimore 5-1 after posting a 93 win season. The fans and players alike both seemed stunned to have such an abrupt end to the season. My advice to the Rangers – go win the division tonight and avoid a stressful weekend (and ultimately the Yankees who clinched the other wild card spot last night).
Brees Says He’s Ready
The Cowboys travel to New Orleans this weekend to take on the faltering 0-3 Saints on Sunday Night Football. While we know Brandon Weeden will be under center for the Boys in place of the man with the cracked clavicle, Tony Romo, the status of Saints QB Drew Brees is still up in the air.
Or is it?
Brees bruised his rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder in the second game of the season, and missed last week’s game against the Panthers with the injury. It’s been reported by league sources that Brees is a long shot to start, but according to the QB himself he’ll be ready to go.
When asked if he thinks he’ll be ready to play, by of all people Ellen DeGeneres (he was a guest on her show), Brees replied “Yeah, I do. I’m very confident I will be able to,” “I practiced today. I feel good. So we’ll see how it progresses. But there’s not anything that’s going to keep me off the field this Sunday.”
So the Cowboys D can expect to see Brees Sunday night, healthy or not. After all, no one would lie to Ellen.