April is here, and that means according to the old rhyme, we’re due for some showers. The NBA apparently took notice, given that they’re making it rain out there. Specifically, the NBA 3-point record has been set for the sixth straight season. Right now they’re 8% ahead of last year’s record-breaking season. That’s insane. At this point every single position on an NBA team is shooting three pointers, and 19/30 teams have set, or are on pace to set franchise records. The game has evolved so much, and it begs to wonder, will the pendulum start to swing back to the big men down low as guards pull farther and father to the perimeter? Here are other Musings from myself and other Turf Writers for this week:
Okay so this isn’t really from the world of sports, but it’s one of my favorite parts of every spring. Deadspin’s “Name of the Year” competition. Sam Gutelle collects 64 fantastic names from around the globe, seeds them, and puts them head to head in an epic March Madness-style bracket. The results? Utterly fantastic.
I mean how good are some of these? Dr. Taekwondo Byrd? Hosthigh Thankgod? Phlandrous Fleming?! I personally love Early Charlemagne and am rooting hard for that to be the victory. Who do you have winning it all? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Major League Baseball is back!
How nuts was Opening Day/Opening Weekend? We could talk about Joe Panik’s record-setting home runs, or Ian Happ hitting a home run on the very first pitch of the 2018 season, or many other insane things. We could also probably talk about how for the second year in a row, the Detroit Tigers had opening day rained out. That feels remarkably apt for that team.
But for me? Biased Red Sox fan that I am? I wanna look at this:
First homer of 2018, just the way you drew it up. 😉 pic.twitter.com/8QawD06uwe
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) March 29, 2018
Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong for the Rays, did. First you have Denard Span and Kevin Kiermaier playing some truly terrible outfield baseball. Then you have the throw from the cut-off player striking the mound and ruining any chance at catching Núñez on his way to home. I would find this far more satisfying, if Joe Kelly hadn’t totally blown Chris Sale’s fantastic opening 6 innings. The Rays would win the game 6-4 after being only giving up one hit in the first 6 innings. Not a great start, Red Sox Bullpen.
Side note. In the first three days of baseball we’ve had two no-hitter/perfect game watches. If this continues then this season is going to be ???.
When it was announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be joining the Los Angeles Galaxy I rolled my eyes. He is without a doubt one of the greatest players in the world, and I just don’t think that highly of the MLS. The Swedish phenomenon made his MLS debut yesterday after recovering from a knee injury suffered while playing for Manchester United. In his own words, “they wanted Zlatan, I gave them Zlatan.” Did he ever.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 31, 2018
He followed this up with a second goal in the first minute of stoppage time, sealing the game for the Galaxy.
You couldn't write a better script.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 31, 2018
I would say I don’t know how I feel about him tweeting yesterday that Major League Soccer was now Major League Zlatan. Except he just proved that soccer is Zlatan’s world, and we’re all just living in it.
Andrew O’Neill: Friendship be damned for Dwayne Wade
In the other night’s Heat vs. Cavs game, Dwayne Wade went up against his friend and former teammate Lebron James. James was his usual brilliant, game-dominant self, Wade was…not having it. Twice James drove to the hoop, and twice Wade said “absolutely not”. These are two of the hardest blocks Lebron has received this year, and it proves that great rivalries can be born of two great players and friends.
Best thing Ive seen in the NBA this year came the other night in the Heat-Cavs game when Dwayne Wade had two of the most vicious blocks ever issued to LeBron…That’s what friends do to each other when they play…Leads to my favorite thing about the NBA’s Greatest Two-Guards (Jordan, Kobe and Wade), which is watching a reel of their greatest blocks
– Andrew O’Neill – Turf Writer
Katie Pierce: Michigan is dominant and Grandma Rose is savage
Michigan is the first school to send a team to both the final four and frozen four since 2001 and the last school to do it was MSU. Also on the UofM Final Four thread is Jalen Rose’s 100 year old grandma calling out Sister Jean and telling her the Loyola’s run is about to end.
– Katie Pierce – Turf Writer
First of all, that’s super cool for Michigan. As a kid, the University of Maine Black Bears were perennial Frozen Four contenders, so it was the only college sporting even I paid attention to. To have a team going to both the final four and the frozen four shows a serious amount of dominance. Especially when you add in their Football and Soccer programs.
Second of all, DAMN GRANDMA ROSE! Check out this bit of savagery.
She is coming for Sister Jean and she don’t care who knows about it. For her part, Sister Jean did not back down from the fight. Someone told her she might need boxing gloves — “We’ll see what happens” she said in a press conference. Afterwards she spit in her hands, dropped into an Orthodox stance, and punched the shit out of Biff, the Michigan Wolverine. While the LU Wolf held him down, she knelt on top of him and proceeded to give him the ol’ “dear mom and dad” typewriter routine. It was brutal to watch.
To note, Grandma Rose was right, and Michigan did win that game. So I guess we saw what happens.
Matt DaSilva: Video Games are good for you
Ben Simmons and KAT were playing fortnight (which, sidenote, should I be playing fortnight? It’s very popular with pro athletes and the 7th graders I tutor, so I feel like I should be playing fortnight?) and it was getting late. Apparently Simmons basically hinted that Towns didn’t need to sleep cuz he was playing the Hawks the next night, who are trash. Towns goes out and drops career/T-Wolves franchise high 56 points.
So I guess the take is that video games are good for you?
– Matt DaSilva – Turf Writer
Why is everyone dragging everyone in the last week? Let’s hear Simmons’ burn for ourselves.
Ben Simmons tells KAT he has “plenty of time” to play PUBG with him because he plays the Hawks tomorrow 😂 pic.twitter.com/A5hAg8Gc78
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) March 28, 2018
Couple of quick things. First this is Player Unknown Battlegrounds, not Fortnite (sorry Matty). Second, what is his avatar wearing? It’s survival end of the world kind of stuff. Open shirt showing skin doesn’t feel very smart.
Now then, DAMMMMMNNNNN.
We all know the Hawks are not good, but to call it out so boldly is rough. I talked last week about teams that are tanking for that top draft lottery, and the Hawks are definitely in consideration. As for Towns? He went out and dropped 56 on the Hawks. So I think Matt’s thesis is officially proven true. Video games are good for you.
Literally Everyone: Scott Foster for Hockey hall of fame
Here’s something you don’t see every day. Did you know that at every NHL game, the home team is required to provide an emergency backup goalie for both themselves and the away team? Well the other night in front of the home crowd in Chicago, 36 year old accountant Scott Foster took the ice for the Blackhawks. Most recently Foster plays in a Chicago rec league. More than a decade ago he was a fantastic college goalie at Western Michigan.
Now he was taking the ice in his first NHL game. For the final minutes of the 3rd period, he took 7 shots, and saved them all. One of them was a beauty of a glove save off a shot from Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
Here is what Turf Writers had to say about this:
HBO did a special about this emergency set up a couple years ago. I just finished crying from that one and now I’m weeping again
– Sarah Jane Schostack – Turf Writer
I feel like we GOTTA cover this.
– Justin Colombo – Editor-in-Chief
Wait, how am I crying?
– Matt DaSilva – Turf Writer
There is one downside to this story, however. Foster was signed to a one day amateur tryout contract. According to the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, those contracts are not eligible for salary OR bonuses. That means Foster played out his dreams for free. That’s all well and good, and I would happily take the ice for the Bruins for no money. Author’s Note: I’m literally awful at skating, this would never happen.
But the NHL is now actively using Foster to sell merchandise.
A night that will forever be remembered! Scott Foster stopped all seven shots he faced as emergency goaltender. #FosterOfThePeople
— NHL Shop (@NHL_Shop) March 30, 2018
This is shitty, and puts a really sour taste in my mouth about the whole thing. When asked how much he got paid, Foster responded:
Just beer league glory.
That sucks. If he’d been signed to a professional tryout contract he’d be entitled to $500 and keeping the jersey with his name. By signing him to an amateur tryout contract they’re going to give him diddly. Chalk one up for the little guy. ???