Random Stuff today …

When I was a kid, there was a nightly TV news program called the Camel News Caravan because it was sponsored by Camel cigarettes.  The host/reporter was John Cameron Swayze and every once in a while he would announce that he was “hopscotching the world for headlines”.  That was his lead-in to a bunch of reports on totally unrelated events where the reports were about two sentences in length.  This morning, I will go “hopscotching the sports world for headlines” with a tip of the hat to John Cameron Swayze instead of doing what I normally call “cleaning my clipboard”.

First, the NBA regular season has gotten to the point where teams are getting serious about every game; the sprint to the finish for playoff seeding has begun.  Moreover, there are new faces at or near the top of the standings in both conferences; and to me that presents two coaches who ought to finish at the top of the voting for Coach of the Year.

  1. In the East, the NY Knicks are 39-28 this morning with 15 games left to play.  They have a chance to win 50 games this year – a longshot to be sure – but they have not been close to that level of achievement for the last decade.  In fact, the Knicks have had a losing record in 8 of the last 9 seasons.  Tom Thibodeau has the team playing hard and playing defense.
  2. In the West, the Sacramento Kings are in second place this morning with a record of 38-26 with 18 games left on the schedule.  For perspective, the last time the Kings won more than 40 games was in the 2005-2006 season.  Mike Brown has the Kings playing disciplined basketball and team basketball.

Next up …  When Derek Carr signed with the Saints yesterday, it prompted me to look at the other three teams in the NFC South to assess their “QB situation”.  As of yesterday afternoon, those situations represented three levels of “bleak”.

  • Atlanta Falcons:  Marcus Mariota is a free agent; they have two QBs on their roster this morning, Desmond Ridder and Logan Woodside.
  • Carolina Panthers:  The Panthers have three QBs on their roster this morning, Matt Corral, Sam Darnold and PJ Walker.
  • Tampa Bay Bucs:  The Bucs have three QBs on their roster this morning, Tom Brady (retired?), Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask.

So, I went to look at cap room for those teams and their draft positions.

  • Atlanta Falcons:  They draft 7th in the first round so they are within striking distance of a trade-up into the “QB Zone” if they want to do that.  And, the Falcons have about $62M in cap room according to Spotrac.com.  The Falcons have some flexibility here.
  • Carolina Panthers:  They draft 8th in the first round so they too are within striking distance of a trade-up into the “QB Zone” if they want to do that.  However, the Panthers are already slightly over the cap limit as of this morning meaning they would have to do a lot of juggling to play in the QB free agent market.
  • Tampa Bay Bucs:  Assuming Tom Brady remains “retired”, the Bucs have a big problem.  They do not draft until 19th; they are unlikely to be able to get anywhere near the “QB Zone” in this year’s draft.  Moreover, Spotrac.com says the Bucs are over the cap by almost $49M this morning meaning it may take more than juggling for them even to think about talking with a major free agent QB.

Switching gears … The Chicago Bears exercised their purchase option and closed on the purchase of what used to be Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, IL – – a northwest suburb of Chicago.  The Bears’ announced intention is to build a stadium on the land formerly occupied by the racetrack and also to develop the area with residential, commercial and hotel properties on site.  I can understand the team’s desire to play somewhere other than Soldier Field; that facility has already been “upgraded” once and yet it is outmoded and it is the smallest capacity stadium of any NFL team.  There are at least three significant questions facing the team:

  1. Will the financing of the construction/development effort come together?  This is not something that will be done for “three easy payments of only $39.95”.  (Hat Tip to half the infomercials on TV at 3:00 AM.)
  2. Given the nether world in which Chicago and Illinois politics exist, can this project jump through all the hoops that will be confronting it?
  3. Will Bears’ fans follow the team to the new site?  Google Maps says it is close to 40 miles from Soldier Field to the old racetrack and it lists the driving time as anywhere between 45 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes depending on traffic.

One more tidbit …  Recall that the members of the Angelos family – – owners of the Baltimore Orioles – – were suing each other over team control and purported draining of $65M from a family account.  Well, magically, all those problems resolved themselves without the need for any judicial intervention.  All the litigants withdrew their lawsuits – – with prejudice no less meaning they cannot be re-instituted later – – and there is once again peace and harmony in the valley.  Of course, that does make me wonder about the alleged “missing” $65M because that is not something that just magically appears and disappears.  Whatever …  Just sit back and enjoy all these folks singing Kumbaya in 3-part harmony.

Finally, since today began with a reference to the Camel News Caravan sponsored by Camel cigarettes, let me close with this observation:

“A camel can work all week without drinking … a man can drink all week without working.”

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



2 thoughts on “Random Stuff today …”

  1. Tampa Bay recently won Super Bowl LV; that is a fact.. However, last season, the team just was not very good. Qualifying for the playoffs on an 8 – 9 fluke, the team was unceremoniously bounced in their first game of the 2023 NFL playoffs. It surprises me that the team is discussed in any way other than that of a downward trajectory.

    1. TenaciousP:

      I completely agree that the next couple of years will be bleak in Tampa…

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