I saw a headline this morning that must get the “Captain Obvious Award” for the week:
“James Harden blames media for him not repeating as MVP”
Since the NBA MVP is determined by a voting process where the only voters are sportswriters or sports broadcasters, it is difficult to imagine a set of circumstances when “the media” would not be responsible for the selection of a player or the selection of some different player. Equally obvious would be the following headline:
“James Harden realizes media responsible for him being last year’s MVP”
Speaking of “the media”, I fear that yesterday was just a tad scary. CBS Sports streamed a 6-hour program yesterday devoted entirely to Fantasy Football. The key parts of that previous sentence are:
Even a 12-year old boy with his first access to a Victoria’s Secret catalog would find something else to do in less than 6 hours. Can Armageddon be far off?
I got an e-mail from #2 son yesterday with the following baseball stat:
“Tony Gwynn faced Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux a combined total of 323 times. He struck out 3 times.”
Let me do some math for you here:
- Tom Glavine struck out 0.59 batters per inning for his career.
- Greg Maddux struck out 0.67 batters per inning for his career.
- Pedro Martinez struck out 1.13 batters per inning for his career.
- John Smoltz struck out 0.89 batters per inning for his career.
All four of those pitchers had long careers; those strikeout stats are not subject to “small sample size error”. That makes the Tony Gwynn stat here even more eye-popping.
The Washington Post recently had a long-form piece on how the increasing temperatures around the world are affecting sports competitions. The focus of the article was a race through the Mojave Desert called Running with the Devil. However, the article devotes plenty of space to things like the Olympics to be held in Japan in mid-summer and to the World Cup in Qatar which was postponed to late in 2022 to avoid the heat in that part of the world in June/July. Here is a link if you choose to read the piece in its entirety.
That report dovetails with a press announcement from NC State saying that the school will implement an “enhanced heat plan” for the 2019 football season. Fans attending games in the late-summer/early-fall might need ways to stay cool in the open-air environment of Carter-Finley Stadium and the school is going to provide for heat relief in various ways to include:
- Misting stations
- Dunking stations – – ice water for towels to cool oneself
- Water bottle refilling stations
- Shade tents
- Air-conditioned buses – – medical folks can direct overheated fans to these cooling places if necessary.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that college football kicks off its season this weekend with a short slate of 2 Division 1-A games. That means that I will be kicking off “Football Friday” next week. I did a survey of the 2019 college football season on July 30 of this year and would like to add a few more observations as we commence the season:
- Watch out for Utah this year. The Utes won the PAC-12 South last year despite losing their starting QB and top RB to injury for much of the year. Those guys are back along with plenty of starters from last year’s team.
- Texas will replace 8 starters on their defense from last year. That is probably a good thing and not a bad thing. Last year, Texas allowed offenses to gain 5.7 yards per play. You have to think there is room for improvement there…
- Lots of prognosticators see Florida and LSU as sleepers who might rise up and challenge Alabama and Georgia for SEC supremacy. Check out the schedules of those two schools here and here. If either wins the SEC Championship Game, it will not be due to a pillow-soft schedule – including a game on October 12 where the two teams square off in Baton Rouge.
Finally, I mentioned above the NC State plan to provide heat relief for fans part of which involved water bottle refilling stations. Here is a pertinent definition from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:
“Bottled Water: Tap water made more palatable by a label with a mountain on it.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………