Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes. Time flies when you’re having fun!

I recently took a job at a tech startup, and have had exactly 0 time to think about or look at sports for a little over a month. In that time, so many things have happened. The Winter Olympics have come and gone, Spring Training has begun, and Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward has officially executed the dumbest goal in sports this year. More on that in a second. Given that I’ve been gone for a second, and there are so many topics I want to touch on, I’m creating a new column for The Turf, “Sunday Morning Musings”. Each Sunday, myself and the other Turf writers will offer quick thoughts from around the world of sports. Let’s begin.

Wauconda Forever

Marvel’s Black Panther came out since last I wrote for the blog as well. It has broken box office records, inspired countless people, and, I might add is just an all around f**king awesome film. What does this have to do with sports? Well while the African nation of Wakanda might not be a real place, the Illinois village of Wauconda is. It turns out, fans of Black Panther have been calling the Wauconda town hall yelling “Wakanda Forever!” and asking about Vibranium. Which lead me to a thought.

Sadly, the Wauconda High School principal Dan Klett told NPR that there was “no groundswell to change the mascot”. I say we change that. #WaucondaForever

A news screenshot with the words "Black Panther fans love Wauconda, Ill." over an idyllic river scene

This is my favorite picture and caption ever, I think

A significant portion of the NBA feels like a dumpster fire.

Jamie Amos is going to murder me, but am I wrong? Every sport always has talk of tanking games for playoff and draft implications, but the NBA takes it to a farcical level. Add that to the amount of players that just don’t feel like they care at all and the league just feels like a disaster.

The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies by 61 points, which the Grizzlies players laughed about. Memphis isn’t good by any means, but it’s not like they lost to the Warriors. The Hornets are 32-41. This comes after the Bulls were warned by the NBA to start playing Justin Holliday and Robin Lopez more because they were obviously tanking. There are 8 teams (9 if you include the Nets, but they don’t control their own draft pick so whatevs) fighting for the bottom slot. With that many terrible teams, a couple of them are going to get not half bad draft positions, which is where none of them want to be.

Tonight the terrible Knicks take on the brutally awful 6th place and totally legitimate Wizards in what is sure to be an exercise in who who can tank the hardest an utterly boring matchup. Someone let me know when it’s over.

AUTHOR NOTE: I haven’t slept much due to this new job taking up most of my waking hours, and in my head the Wizards were the Magic, because…Harry Potter? Anyways, given that I make fun of Wilhelm later for a typo, and he’s the one that caught this, I’ll leave my shame on display for everyone to see.

Michael Bennett is already a distraction for the Super Bowl champion Eagles

A warrant for the new Eagles defensive player’s arrest has been issued in Houston Texas on charges of injury to the elderly. Bennett supposedly was told he had to use a different entrance to the field after Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and the Falcons. Instead of complying with security, he pushed through the guards and a paraplegic woman in a wheelchair. She suffered a sprained shoulder. Bennett allegedly said “You all must know who I am, and I can own this motherf**ker. I’m going down to the field, whether you like it or not.” Classy move. Bennett hasn’t taken part in any team activities and he’s already causing issues for the Eagles. Watch this one as it plays out.

Michael Bennett takes a selfie with Mark Wahlberg before Super Bowl LIDan Phillips/AP

Red Zone for the NBA

The NBA is looking at ways to create new revenue streams and one of them is 99 cent 4th quarter livestreams. Do you love watching the ending of games? Or tuning in once you see that a game is close? Don’t pay for a full season pass, just watch the 4th quarters you want to. I can’t decide if I think this is brilliant or a reflection of society’s current issue with attention span, but either way kudos to the NBA for ingenuity. I love the Red Zone, it allows me to consume football for games that I don’t particularly care about, and track all the active games at once. This isn’t quite the same thing, but it fulfills the same need. Watch great basketball across the entire league without having to track every team every time. If this works, watch other sports follow suit.

The NFL refs have apparently switched sports

As promised earlier, here is the dumbest goal in sports this year. There are so many things wrong with what happened here, not the least of which is some seriously idiotic refereeing. Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward is very good. He went out to play a puck along the boards like goalies do hundreds of times a season. The goalie skates feature a break in the blade holder (are any of those proper terminology, Turf NHL writers?) that is just the perfect size for a puck to get stuck in. Ward skated out to play a puck on the boards and….well, just watch.

How the referee doesn’t blow the play dead when the puck gets STUCK IN A DUDE’S SKATE is beyond me. Add in the fact that they allow that skate crossing the goal line to mean that someone scored a goal is just asinine. I mean the Coyotes literally trojan-horsed a goal, and the officials allowed it to stand. Luckily the Hurricanes won by 1 goal, but imagine if that were flipped. Whichever Arizona fan paid off the ref for that piece of chicanery certainly got their money’s worth.

Professional Squash is f**king awesome.

We’re all living in 2018 while Turf Writer Andrew Wilhelm and the sport of Professional Squash is in 2028. On an unrelated note, Andrew please look at the typo in your headline for this Hump Day Hot Takes article. And please don’t change it. Ever.

Andrew covered this, but given that it’s literally the coolest sports video I’ve seen in a while, in a sport I know exactly nothing about and honestly haven’t cared about until right now, I want it back in your consciousness. Watch this and please note how awesome this sport looks, how kickass their graphics are, and their jam worthy theme song.

Andrew summed up this video in his article better than I can, so here are his words:

I don’t know much of anything about squash, other then the fact its basically racquetball with a larger racquet and a smaller ball. I do know racquetball is lots of fun, and it is extremely difficult. If you miss the ball, you’re screwed, so the concept of intentionally missing the ball to fake out your opponent is some next level stuff. To purposefully miss multiple times? Absolutely savage.

He rightfully ended this section with the truest statement, that I will end this article with.

I think I need to watch more squash.

 

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