Look, there is exactly one sporting event from this past week that I truly, deeply cared about. There are plenty of others that interested me, and that I have opinions on, and we’ll get to those in due time, but stood above all others. And I don’t even really have a take on it other than: VICTORY FOR MSU.
Big Night in the Big House
October 7, 2017: Michigan State defeats Michigan at the Big House for their 8 win in the last 10 meetings. pic.twitter.com/up7PL8R3kR
— Sparty Moments (@SpartyMoments) October 8, 2017
You’ll never hear a Wolverine fan tell you this, because they’ll be too busy making excuses, but Mark Dantonio absolutely owns U of M Football. But going into the game on Saturday, the first ever meeting of U of M and MSU under the Primetime Lights, all the talk was about Jim Harbaugh and the 7th ranked Wolverines. MSU is 2 years removed from their College Football Playoff appearance and one year removed from an abysmal 3-9 season. But on the strength of a 14-3 halftime lead and 5 turnovers created (1 more than their season total pregame), the mighty Maize and Blue fell 14-10 in the pouring rain. Ever since 2007, when Mike Hart went on record calling Michigan State “Little Brother” after beating the Spartans in Dantonio’s first time coaching in the Rivalry, the Spartans have won 8 of the 9 meetings between the two teams. That makes Dantonio 8-2 against the team from Ann Arbor. Which is just…well… glorious.
The O’Korn flop deserves an Oscar pic.twitter.com/fdj0Kfhany
— Clay Wendler (@ClayWendler) October 8, 2017
Cowardice, Thy Name Is Bristol
ESPN’s Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/JkVoBVz7lv
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 9, 2017
Do you see that statement? That is the most tone deaf thing I’ve read in a long time. It comes in response to Jemele Hill tweeting that if people were upset about the way Jerry Jones was handling the anthem protest situation, then people should put their money where their mouth is and not support the advertisers of the Dallas Cowboys. She was not telling people to boycott the NFL, she was not speaking for ESPN, and she was not in the wrong in any way. And yet, the good people in Bristol have decided to make an example of a young black woman for speaking her mind. In a culture where Hill and other men and women who are speaking out for necessary change are regularly being attacked on social media by all types of people, including the President of these United States, it is on ESPN to do better and show that they have the backs of their employees and respect their Right to an Opinion. At a time when our elected officials are using taxpayer dollars to hold stunts like what Mike Pence did in Indiana on Sunday, the world needs more Jemele Hill’s.
Adrian Peterson heading to the only city to get swept in the MLB Playoffs.
How do you feel about Arizona AP?
What do you think the emotions were in Arizona on Tuesday. Waking up having just been swept out of the MLB PostSeason by L.A., they were treated to the news that the New Orleans Saints were trading Adrian Peterson to the Cardinals for a 2018 conditional 6th round draft pick. And you know what, I think it’s a good trade. AP is clearly not what he once was but he is still an effective back when he gets his touches. And he definitely wasn’t getting his touches in New Orleans. After 4 games where he totaled 81 rushing yards, AP heads to an Arizona team that could desperately use some new blood in the run game after David Johnson’s injury in Week 1. The combination of Peterson’s downhill running and Andre Ellington’s pass catching ability makes for a compelling tandem. The Cardinals are not in a good position at the moment, but this moves shows they aren’t ready to give up on this season. Meanwhile, AP clearly never fit in in The Big Easy, which was evident as early as Week 1 when cameras caught Peterson yelling at head coach Sean Payton over his lack of touches. Payton was never keen on using more than two backs and with the emergence of Alvin Kamara, Peterson was relegated to being Mark Ingram’s backup. You don’t pay someone like AP to be backup, so getting something, anything, for him was a wise move.
The Worst Team in New York
As a Lions fan, I have an odd sense of pride in the fact that the 2008 Lions are the only team in NFL history to go 0-16. I enjoy that fact so much, I don’t want to see any other team ever go winless. But this current New York Giants team looks poised to do just that. Take an ineffective offense and take away it’s star player for the rest of the season. And for good measure, take away the big offseason signing brought in the compliment the star player. Things are not looking good. By the end of the game on Sunday, the New York Giants were down to 1 wide receiver. Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris, Brandon Marshall, and Odell Beckham Jr. all left the game against the Chargers with injuries. Only Sterling Shepard will return this season. There’s no way this team bounces back from that that I can see. Unless…
@Giants Hey big head
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) October 8, 2017
Hey @Giants let me know if you need an interim wide receiver!
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) October 8, 2017
Ochocinco and T.O. playing for the Giants in a year where the NFL reinstated touchdown celebrations. Please make this happen. PLEASE.
World Cup Qualification
Well, the unthinkable happened. When I started writing this piece, the USMNT had just beaten Panama 4-0 to take firm grasp of the number 3 seed in the Hex and it looked like their ticket was all but punched to Russia for next year’s World Cup. After all, the bottom 3 three teams would all have to win against the top 3 teams on Tuesday in order for the US to fall to 5th and not qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 30 years. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. An own goal by Omar Gonzalez doomed the US against Trinidad and Tobago. A late stunner in Panama broke the deadline with Costa Rica in stoppage time. And Honduras upset Mexico. Never in my life have the United States not qualified for the World Cup. That’s not a sentence I can continue saying after tonight. The whole team needs to be gutted starting with Manager Bruce Arenas and ending with every player not named Christian Pulisic. I think Alexi Lalas was dead on a month ago when he went on this rant:
Alexi Lalas just called out basically everybody involved with the USMNT. pic.twitter.com/usPKcIO0vM
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) September 11, 2017
Too bad they didn’t answer his call. I wish I could can say I was angry about this. But I’m not. It was apparent for a long time. Alexi saw it at least a month ago. Others say it longer. It’s distressing to know that the US won’t even be going to Russia (the irony here is not lost on me by the way). And that fucking sucks. But maybe this is the wake up call that U.S. Soccer needs to get its act together. Because it’s exactly where Germany was in 2000. After laying an egg in the Euros, all of German soccer got together and figured out a plan and that lead to a World Cup victory not but 14 years later. To not expect US Soccer to put forth a similar effort is crazy. If the US is not competitive by the 2026 World Cup, which we will most likely be hosting, then there is truly no hope for the Billion Dollar Industry that is US Soccer. This isn’t on the coaches or the players or the fans. Its on the entire system that accepts a mediocre product in the MLS and doesn’t do shit to develop it’s players, especially its most talented ones. It’s easy to scapegoat Klinsmann or Arenas or Omar fucking Gonzalez. But that’s not good enough. And it never will be if we don’t demand more. Ugh.
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