Normally, the announcement of a trade involving a 4th round pick in the upcoming draft for a backup QB would merit a glance and not much more. Today the trade of Joe Flacco from the Ravens to the Broncos for a 4th round pick is a topic that commands major focus. You will read and hear about the Broncos’ QB problems during the John Elway Era in a dozen other places so let me focus in a couple of other items from this swap:
- The big winner in the trade is Joe Flacco. When John Harbaugh left Lamar Jackson in that playoff game in the 4th quarter after Jackson had thrown up on his shoes for the first 3 quarters, that was an unequivocal statement that Jackson was “his guy”. So Flacco wins the trade by landing on a team with a good RB, a couple of good pass-catchers and a good defense. Now, he has to show that he can avoid injury and recapture some of his previous form…
- The big question now is what the Broncos will do with Case Keenum. He is owed only $7M next season so for one year he is not a “cap killer”. I will not be surprised to read that the Skins have interest here because they have a lot of money tied up in a starting QB who cannot play in 2019 – and may never play again – so that small salary number combined with the fact that Keenum is a step up from colt McCoy and/or Josh Johnson at QB makes this a sensible landing spot for Keenum.
- The fact that the Broncos acquired their starting QB for a 4th round pick and nothing else sort of sets the market for players on the market such as Nick Foles and/or Antonio Brown.
Another offseason NFL soap opera now involves and will continue to involve the Oakland Raiders and where they are going to play their home games next year. Their stadium in Las Vegas will not be ready until at least 2020 – and some folks have said 2021 is a more realistic target. Their lease on the Oakland Coliseum runs out this week; the City of Oakland and/or Alameda County are suing the Raiders over the process by which they put together the deal to move to Las Vegas. The Niners have nixed any possibility that the Raiders could play in a stadium in SF. Someone actually suggested that the Raiders play one year with London as its home stadium as if that could ever be approved by the owners of the other teams. This story will probably take three dozen twists and turns before some final decision is made.
However, there is a wild card in the deck here. I don’t know the details but there are reports that Birmingham, AL and Tucson, AZ have come together to offer the Raiders an opportunity to play their 8 home games in those venues; this is a joint venture of the two communities. You have to give these folks credit for originality here. I realize that the league and the Raiders’ ownership will not care too much about the inconvenience for the players over an arrangement like this but consider that these two cities are 1200 miles apart. If the Raiders have to have “two home fields” for the season, where would the players’ families locate?
My guess – and I mean guess – is that the Raiders will wind up playing their home games in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and share that field with the Niners for the 2019 season. That makes the most sense – – and that is the reason I think there is a real likelihood the Raiders could wind up playing their home games elsewhere like on the Moon.
The NBA has reached its All-Star break. That means there will not be any meaningful NBA action for about a week. There will however be plenty of meaningless activity and let’s start with the Dunk Contest.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to say goodbye to the Dunk Contest.
This was a fun idea and it was interesting to watch – for a while. Then it got repetitious; then it got creatively silly as players dunked over parked cars; now, it is embarrassing. The NBA can’t get many players – let alone any All Stars – to participate. The players people want to see during the All-Star break will not show up for this silliness. In 2019, there will be the grand total of 4 participants and there are no Dr. Js or Michael Jordans or Vince Carters or Dominique Wilkins in the group.
You have heard about Dennis Smith recently; he is the guy who was sent to the Knicks in the Porzingis trade. Because that trade went down recently, you might actually know about Dennis Smith and might recognize him if you saw his mug shot. I doubt that is true of the other three participants:
- Miles Bridges: He plays for the Hornets don’t you know. He is not related to Jeff Bridges or Lloyd Bridges.
- Hamidou Diallo: He plays for the Thunder don’t you know. If you put him in a photoshoot with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I could probably figure out that he is the tall Black man in the picture.
- John Collins: He plays for the Hawks don’t you know. You may know his brother, Tom Collins from Tom’s regular appearances at Happy Hours.
It is time for the Dunk Contest to be mercifully dispatched to the ashbin of basketball history…
The All-Star Game itself will take place on Sunday night and if you have nothing better to do with yourself on Sunday night you might find yourself watching some of it as you go channel surfing. But understand that the NBA All-Star Game is not a basketball game.
- The NBA All-Star Game is an extended version of the Skills Challenge from the day before the game with two added features. First, they keep score as if it were a basketball game; second, they have referees involved to a marginal extent.
As you might guess, I will not be watching the NBA All-Star Game. I have something much more important to do on Sunday night; I plan to alphabetize all the checks I have written over the past 5 years. There is no reason to do that; it serves no purpose; yet it is more compelling than watching the NBA All-Star Game.
Finally, here is an NBA observation from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:
“A Kansas City woman reportedly makes $40,000 a year as a ‘professional cuddler.’ She offers comfort, understanding and reassurance by hugging people.
“Sources say the Cavaliers have booked her for the entire month of February.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………