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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! We’re back this week with some more #humptakes.

A Giant Benching
The New York Giants are doing Eli Manning dirty. I make no effort to hide my disdain for the Giants and my equal, if not greater, disdain for Eli Manning. But this is remarkably tough to watch:

Now, it should be said that the Giants apparently gave Eli a chance to start and make way for Geno Smith (GENO SMITH?!?) and Davis Webb. Manning said this in response:

““My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can””

That is the best possible quote anyone can make in this situation. Eli Manning has been the Giants franchise for the past 14 seasons. He has done remarkable things in big moments and is a 2 time NFL Champion. He is second only to Brett Farve in consecutive games started (3rd behind his brother by 2 games if you remove Playoffs from the equation.) And yet he is being thrown under the bus by Ben McAdoo for this terrible season the Giants are having. You really want to tell me Geno Smith is going to be able to lead this “team” better than Eli Manning. If you think so, you’re lying to yourself and/or you know nothing about football. And to the people who want to compare Geno Smith to Case Kennum or Jared Goff, stop. Just, stop.

David Fizdale Fizzes Out in Memphis
Okay, I’m not happy about that lead in either. But look, David Fizdale benched Marc Gasol for the 4th quarter of Monday’s game against the Nets. Gasol was pissed.

The next day Fizdale was out of a job. Yes, the Grizzles are in a bit of a skid right now after starting the season 5-1, but this was a playoff team last year under Fizdale. The GM of the Grizzles can swear up and down all he wants that the Gasol spat wasn’t the sole reason or the predominate reason Fizdale was let go. But if your franchise player and your 2nd year head coach aren’t seeing eye to eye, the coach is going to be looking for a job 100% of the time. The question remains though, is Marc Gasol good enough to be considered a franchise player with that much power? I say… no.

Gregg Popovich Is A Damn National Treasure
This happened because of an incorrect out of bounds call. IN THE SECOND PERIOD. Pop is the best.

NFL – NATIONAL FIGHTING LEAGUE??
Is it just me or have there been far more dust-ups in the NFL this year? Players actually going at each other. The latest is a scrap between Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree over, among other things, Talib snatching Crabtree’s chain. Talib is so known for doing this, that Crabtree reportedly taped his chain to himself and still had it snatched by Aqib. That whole sentence is the most amazing thing to me. For their parts each player was ejected from the game and given two game suspensions by the league. Both appealed and had their suspensions lessened by a game. I don’t know why football is starting to look more like hockey (see this week’s TCU game below) but I don’t think it’s good for the sport overall. As entertaining as these storylines can be, and this one is very entertaining, its not good for a league already marred with other issues.

BAMA V. MINNESOTA
Speaking of brawls, there was another incident involving a fight in a sport that shouldn’t have them on  Saturday night. While Alabama was busy losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, their men’s basketball team was playing in the Barclay’s Center against Minnesota. With roughly 12 minutes to go in the 2nd half a bit of a shoving match broke out between the two teams. What followed was insanity. All of Alabama’s bench took about two steps onto the court during the scuffle. That was as far as they got before they realized their mistake. Per the NCAA rules, every single member of the Alabama bench that stepped onto the court, which was all of them, was ejected. A couple plays later another member of the Tide fouled out, and a minute after that another rolled his ankle. This led to almost 10 full minutes of 5 on 3 basketball. That’s right, Alabama only had 3 available players for the rest of the game. Those three players played a tight 2-1 zone, and bizarrely Minnesota didn’t double team the ball the entire time leading the Crimson Tide to actually outscore the Gophers during that 5 on 3 stretch. The deficit Bama dug for themselves in the first half was too great to overcome, but they almost succeeded WITH ONLY 3 PLAYERS. This is the craziest thing to happen in college basketball in a long time that doesn’t involve Louisville cheating.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAOS
We have a new set of college football rankings and the stage is set for utter chaos after Championship Saturday this weekend. Here are the top 4 after this week’s crazy Iron Bowl and stunning Miami loss to Pitt.

Now, if all four of those teams win on Saturday (or if Georgia beats Auburn and the other three win), then the Playoff picture is easy and the committee doesn’t really have much to discuss next week. I also think that if Miami (who fell to 7) can beat Clemson in the ACC Championship, they should get in rather easily. But if TCU can beat Oklahoma, or Ohio State beats Wisconsin (which seems likely), this whole thing is going to become utter chaos. And I wouldn’t be surprised if those both happen that we see a 1 loss Bama team who didn’t even play for their SEC Championship get in. Which is why, yet again I say we need to move to a 8 team Playoff. The 5 Power 5 Champions, the best Group of 5 team, and 2 at large teams (one of which is guaranteed to Alabama if they don’t win the SEC because that’s just the shitty world we live in). But I don’t get a say so this will probably never happen and we will be stuck with this broken system that’s only marginally better than the last broken system (BCS). Yeah, I said it. That’s why it’s called Hot Takes.

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