RIP Bart Starr

Bart Starr died over the weekend; he was 85 years old.  Starr was low-key QB of “Lombardi’s Packers” in the 50s and 60s; that was not a time when QBs put up gaudy stats, but Starr managed to get the Packers into 10 playoff games winning 9 of them.

Rest in peace, Bart Starr.

Organizations like to do a “late Friday news dump” when they have to reveal some sort of bad news or something that might be very controversial.  The idea is that many people will be focused on their weekend plans that the news will not get as much notice as it might if done during the week.  Last Friday was a really good time for one of those “news dumps” given that this is the Memorial Day Weekend where almost everyone had weekend plans.  So, a high school in Texas seemingly took advantage of that and made this “potentially controversial” announcement last Friday evening:

  • Mount Vernon High School hired Art Briles to be its head football coach.

To be sure, Briles has been successful on the sidelines all during his career – – but there was more than “a bit of a problem” during his time at Baylor.  Personally, I am surprised that he is coaching anywhere other than in pro football after his exit from Baylor.  Rather than go through all the problems there and his prospects in his new job, let me provide a link to this piece by Pete Thamel at Yahoo! Sports.  Lest you think there will be any ambiguity on the part of the author here, this is the headline:

In hiring Art Briles, a small Texas town sells its soul

In a recent column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot, Bob Molinaro had this to say:

“Wondering: Have we seen anything from the Bucks or Raptors that makes us think either could beat the Warriors? We haven’t. This is a problem for the NBA and its TV partners.”

I agree this is a problem for the NBA – albeit not a severe one.  In terms of predictability being a problem for a sport and its “TV partners”, I think we should turn our attention to MLB at the moment.  The season is not quite one-third finished and unless you think that the Cleveland Indians are going to snap to life from their current state of somnambulance, the playoff structure in the AL is set.  No one is catching the Astros in the AL West; the Twins have a 10-game lead in the AL Central and the highest run differential in MLB, the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are dominating the AL East.  Those folks are playing for home field advantage and to avoid the “dreaded wild-card play-in game”.

Over in the NL, there is still some intrigue – – if you remember to avoid looking at the NL West where the Dodgers might have to invent something totally new in order to lose the division title.  So, in MLB, there are only two divisions where the races are not rather well known so early in the year.

The Toronto Blue Jays are apparently strong believers in the science of genetics.  Earlier this season they called up Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (scion of a Hall of Fame player) from their minor league system.  Last week, they dipped into their minor league pool of talent and called up Cavan Biggio – son of Hall of Fame second-baseman, Craig Biggio.  A historian should check to see if the Jays’ GM, Ross Atkins, is related to Gregor Mendel.

The folks who put together The Onion are spectacular when it comes to cutting through a lot of haze and exposing the heart of a matter.  Consider this headline from about a week ago:

  • Adam Gase to play all 22 positions after pushing out entire Jets team.

Back in March, Landry Jones signed on with the Raiders as a free agent.  After spending 5 years with the Steelers as a back-up QB to Ben Roethlisberger, it was clear that he was heading west to continue in that role behind Derek Carr.  As a back-up QB on a good team, Jones did what you might expect a back-up QB to do.  The Steelers called on him to start a total of 5 games and the team record in those games was 3-2.  He “held the fort.”  This seemed like a sensible move on the part of the Raiders building some depth behind Derek Carr.

All of that thinking went out the window last week when the Raiders released Landry Jones to make room for a tight end that they added to their roster.  There is something else about this low-level roster move that puzzles me.  Here are the 2 QBs on the Raiders’ roster who stand behind Derek Carr now that Jones is once again a free agent:

  • Mike Glennon – Granted he has never been with a team as talented as the Steelers, but he has started 22 games and the team record in those games is 6-16.
  • Nathan Peterman – He has started 4 games in his career; the team record in those games is 1-3.  He has thrown 3 TDs and 12 INTs in his career.  His average passing yards per game in those 4 starts is 68.5.

Finally, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times seems to have connected the dots with this observation:

“Americans are bored 131 days a year, according to a survey conducted by OnePoll researchers.

“Which, as fate would have it, is exactly the number of days from this year’s NFL Draft to the season opener.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………