It’s that time of the week again. Every Wednesday, I post this comprehensive guide highlighting some of the notable unprophetic and wrong predictions, and other observations that are relevant to the previous week’s sports news. Let’s begin.
BEST OF THE WEEK
CFB CONFERENCE SUPREMACY CONFUSION
Shout out to my guy T.J. Pittinger of the Big 3 Roll Up podcast, who unearthed these tweets from current Texas A&M Tight Ends Coach Tim Brewster. Brewster, considered an ace recruiter, was an assistant at Florida State under Jimbo Fisher from 2013 to 2017 before following Fisher to College Station in December. Here’s Brewster last summer, while still coaching in the ACC for the Seminoles:
Jimbo dead right, the ACC is the best football conference in Nation. #Facts‼️‼️‼️
— Tim Brewster (@TimBrewster) July 14, 2017
Here’s Brewster, last week, now that he’s coaching in the SEC for the Aggies:
— Tim Brewster (@TimBrewster) February 18, 2018
Tuesday, Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy, and his brother Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, joined in on the fun:
TRADE MICHAEL JORDAN?
Happy Birthday to Michael Jordan who turned 55 years old last week. To celebrate, here are a few old quotes about MJ:
In November 1987, the Chicago Sun Times asked its readers if the Bulls were “good enough to win the NBA Title.” One fan’s submission:
“Yes – if they trade Michael Jordan for Larry Bird straight up. Then the Bulls would have a team player who could lead them to the championship.”
In the 1984 draft, Portland infamously picked center Sam Bowie with the second pick allowing Chicago to snag Jordan third. Then Trailblazers GM Stu Inman’s explanation:
“He is the best player available at the position where we have the biggest need…Centers are very difficult to find.”
Here’s the late Snapper Jones, a couple of months into the 1984 season, with a doozy of a rhetorical question:
“Hey, Jordan might very well be a better talent than [Blazers guard Jim] Paxson. So what? How much better?”
DID DOC RIVERS COST THE MAGIC TIM DUNCAN?
During the 2000 NBA offseason, the Orlando Magic appeared to be getting close to signing then free agent Tim Duncan. On Friday’s episode of ESPN’s The Jump, Grant Hill, who along with Tracy McGrady ended up signing with the Magic that summer, explains why then Magic head coach Doc Rivers may have inadvertently pushed Tim to ultimately decide to stay with San Antonio (courtesy of this tweet from The Mickstape Show):
Grant Hill just admitted that Doc Rivers blew the Tim Duncan signing with Orlando when he said spouses weren’t allowed on the team plane.
T-Mac is STILL sick about it after all these years pic.twitter.com/eojBGAxffs
— Mickstape (@MickstapeShow) February 15, 2018
Then New York Times reporter Chris Broussard certainly believed that Duncan would end up with the Magic. From August 2000:
REGGIE WAYNE, THE COLTS BIG “MISTAKE”
On Tuesday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that former star wide receiver Reggie Wayne will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. In April 2001, right after the Colts selected Wayne with the 30th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, scribe Joe Skeel criticized the selection in a Franklin (IN) Daily Journal in column titled “Colts should have stuck with Plan A for first pick:”
In the column, Skeel wrote that the Colts should have picked a defensive lineman or defensive back, and that even though “the defensive lineman the Colts were hoping to draft was gone,” it still didn’t “make picking a wide receiver a sensible move.” Here’s a summary of Reggie Wayne’s career achievements with the Colts, via Colts.com:
“Wayne played 14 seasons (2001-14) with the Colts after being selected by the team in the first round (30th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Miami (FL). In Indianapolis, Wayne:
•Played in 211 games (197 starts), the most games in franchise history.
•Totaled 1,070 receptions for 14,345 yards and 82 touchdowns.
•Ranks 10th in NFL history in receptions and receiving yards and is tied for 23rd in receiving touchdowns.
•Registered 43 100-yard receiving games, which ranks tied for 15th in league history.
•Was a member of the Colts Super Bowl XLI championship team following the 2006 season.
•Was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was a First Team Associated Press NFL All-Pro in 2010.”
LONG RAIDER CAREER ENDS FOR “WASTED PICK” JANIKOWSKI
Last Thursday, the Raiders announced that they will not bring back long time kicker Sabastian Janikowski. Janikowski had a successful 18-year career in Oakland, including 414 career field goals and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2011. This is far better than many thought after the Raiders picked him in the first round of the 2000 draft out of Florida State. The franchise took a lot of criticism for using a first-round selection on a kicker, and during the first half of Janikowski’s rookie season, the criticism seemed to be justified. In his first five games, Janikowski was only 6-11 on field goal attempts and 0 for 5 on attempts more than 40 yards. Here is a clipping from the October 9, 2000 Los Angeles Times after Janikowski had another poor outing in week 6:
“All-in-all, it looks like the Raiders would have been better off drafting Sebastian Cabot.”
THE DUNK CONTEST WAS NOT OVER
During the second round of Saturday night’s NBA Slam Dunk contest, Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr. converted this sweet double tap dunk:
At that point, a few accounts on Twitter declared the contest officially over, a la Vince Carter back in 2000:
Now THAT’S creativity! pic.twitter.com/CBJZWkp6G4
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) February 18, 2018
TFW you just won the dunk contest pic.twitter.com/n8C4Vt0NZ4
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) February 18, 2018
Of course, these tweets were a bit premature, as Jazz guard Donavan Mitchell followed Nance’s dunk with a 360 slam, propelling him to the dunk contest championship.
RAYS’ TWITTER ACCOUNT: THE LAST TO KNOW
Here are a few entertaining tweets from the Tampa Bay Rays official twitter account. The Rays, who are in the midst of a fire sale, have had many reasons to tweet recently.
In December, the Rays expressed the importance of All-Star outfielder and DH Corey Dickerson:
Corey Dickerson could be ? for us in 2018.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) December 7, 2017
However, this Saturday, the Rays announced:
We have acquired 1B CJ Cron from the Angels for a PTBNL.
To make room on the 40-man roster, we have designated Corey Dickerson for assignment. pic.twitter.com/wDK3sN7Yen
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) February 18, 2018
Tuesday, the team was excited to see right fielder Steven Souza back at spring training camp in Port Charlotte after missing four days due to a family issue:
Later that afternoon:
We've traded OF Steven Souza Jr. to the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team trade with the Yankees.
In return, we've received LH Anthony Banda and two PTBNL (from ARI), and minor league 2B Nick Solak (from NYY). pic.twitter.com/00F55o5pmQ
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) February 21, 2018
PITINO’S ILL-FATED TATTOO
On Tuesday, the NCAA upheld the sanctions it previously issued to the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball program related to a well-publicized prostitution and recruiting scandal. Among the sanctions: the program must forfeit its 2013 National Championship. That leaves disgraced former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino stuck with this tattoo commemorating the achievement:
Reminder: Rick Pitino has this on his back. pic.twitter.com/RkCNA9bSbZ
— ESPN (@espn) February 20, 2018
MARK CUBAN TANKS HIS TANKING THEORY
Here’s Mark Cuban, in December 2016, on tanking, as told to ESPN.com:
“‘Haters gonna hate. We think that you always compete,’ Cuban said after finishing his pregame StairMaster routine Sunday night. ‘If you’re competing when the league is better, like it is this year, if you don’t do well, you’ll be in a position to get a good pick. Which, remember, even if you have the worst record in the NBA, there’s a 75 percent chance you’re not going to get the top pick.'”
Here’s Mark Cuban this past week, via ESPN.com:
“Cuban told Julius Erving on the House Call with Dr. J podcast that he shared that sentiment with the team recently.
‘I’m probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option,’ Cuban said on the podcast. ‘Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that’s the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability.'”
COLLEGE BASEBALL COACH’S SHORT-LIVED EXCITEMENT
After suffering a three-game sweep to Southern Mississippi this weekend, Mississippi State baseball coach Andy Cannizaro tweeted:
Excited to get back after it Wednesday against Jackson State!
Looking forward to seeing a packed yard full of Bulldog Fans!#HailState?
— Andy Cannizaro ? (@CoachCannizaro) February 19, 2018
The excitement was short-lived. On Monday, rumors of an affair with a University employee started to make their way through the internet. The next day, Cannizaro resigned, admitting that he “made some poor decisions.”
NEWSPAPER FIVE YEARS AGO: FEDERER PLEASE RETIRE
This past weekend, at 36 years-old, Roger Federer became the oldest men’s tennis player to hold the world number 1 ranking. In 2003, UK publication, The Independent published an article suggesting Federer retire:
Federer has won three of the last four Grand Slams in which he has competed, including last month’s Australian Open. He also holds the record for most singles Grand Slam titles with 20.
SPARTY’S EPIC COMEBACK
On Saturday, Michigan State, who at one point trailed Northwestern 43-16, came back to beat Northwestern in basketball 65-60. It was the biggest comeback in Big 10 history. Here are a few regrettable tweets from when it seemed like the Spartans would be run out of the gym:
— Northwestern Basketball (@NUMensBball) February 17, 2018
If found, please return ASAP to Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannehim Rd. in Rosemont, Ill.
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) February 17, 2018
For more tweets prematurely burying Michigan State, click here.
BEST OF THE REST
- Last Wednesday night, with Mississippi State up 80-78 over Vanderbilt in basketball with 6.4 seconds left in the game, Bulldogs small forward Xavian Stapleton, after making his first of two free throw attempts, taunted the Vandy crowd by putting a finger to his lips as to say “shhhhh.” Stapleton missed his second free throw leading to a Riley LaChance three pointer that gave the Commodores the 81-80 win.
- In mid-November, after Pac 12 college basketball preseason favorite Arizona struggled to start the season and Arizona State throttled Xavier for its sixth straight win, veteran college basketball analyst Andy Katz tweeted that it “looks like we all had the wrong Arizona school as the Pac 12 favorite.” Arizona is currently 11-3 in the Pac 12, while Arizona State is 7-7.
- On January 20, CBS Sports college basketball analyst Seth Davis tweeted that Wichita State basketball was “getting exposed” because they moved conferences and that “beasting teams doesn’t work as well” in their new conference (The American Athletic Conference). He also added that “they’re not real skilled.” The Shockers, currently on a four-game win streak, are ranked 13th in the country and are 11-3 in conference.
- Monday night before Oklahoma met Kansas in basketball in Lawrence, Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb thought OU would at least keep it close, and that he “could almost guarantee” that Trae Young would make shots. The Jayhawks crushed the Sooners 104-74, and Trae Young made only three field goals.
- In mid-January, famed Las Vegas handicapper and betting analyst Dave Cokin tweeted that “Oklahoma looks like a Final For team. [Trae] Young is unstoppable.” After starting the season 14-2 and being ranked in the Top 5, Oklahoma has lost 9 of its last 11 games. Young is 5 for 32 from three-point land in the Sooners’ last four games.
- Here’s a 2013 quote from outfielder Marlon Byrd, then with the Mets, discussing his 50-game suspension by MLB the previous June for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs:
Byrd on his 50-game suspension for banned substance: "I think you have to be an idiot to test positive and I was one of those idiots." #mets
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 15, 2013
On June 1, 2016, Byrd, playing for the Indians, was suspended by MLB for 162 games after testing positive for human growth hormone.
- Eight years ago, rapper Wakka Flocka Flame posted this tweet:
Tobias Harris the next Lebron James
— Waka Flocka (@WakaFlocka) February 16, 2010
- Three years ago, ESPN’s Buster Olney went on Mike and Mike in the Morning and said this:
"Once he has his final at bat, the door of MLB will hit him hard in the backside… He will be cast into exile." –@Buster_ESPN on A-Rod
— Golic and Wingo (@GolicAndWingo) February 18, 2015
A-Rod, who has become a popular MLB TV broadcaster since his 2016 retirement was recently added to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team for the 2018 season.
- Last year, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was gleaming with positivity when he tweeted this:
Colts Nation…I want you to know New GM Chris and HC Chuck are clicking on all cylinders…#12 is healing and great things to come!!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) February 20, 2017
Meanwhile, Irsay fired “HC Chuck” Pagano after the Colts went 4-12 in 2017. “#12” Andrew Luck did not take a single snap all season.
- Kudos to ESPN NBA Insider Bobby Marks who predicted the winner of each of the three events on All-Star Saturday.
- Kudos to Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, winner of Saturday night’s NBA All-Star skills challenge. Last year, Dinwiddie hinted he would be good at this event:
I'm more of a skills challenge guy.. https://t.co/zYLmFGBIJ1
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) February 19, 2017
- Last Wednesday, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, on his show, The Herd, said that the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl window is closed.
- On Friday, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook assured that teammate Paul George, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, will not be going anywhere, including to the Lakers.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney’s World Series prediction for 2018: Indians over Nationals.
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said on Sunday that he thinks “[Tim Tebow] will play in the major leagues.”
- Former Bills and Colts GM Bill Polian, who in 2012, thought Trent Richardson was a “sure thing” in the NFL Draft, said last Monday that he thinks Louisville quarterback prospect and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson should be a wide receiver in the NFL.
- James Stewart, executive producer of Felger and Mazz on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, thinks the Red Sox recent signing of right fielder JD Martinez is a mistake.
That’s all for this week.
Fred Segal is an attorney from West Palm Beach, FL. He operates the popular Freezing Cold Takes twitter account (@OldTakesExposed) which highlights, among other things, hilarious unprophetic and inaccurate takes and predictions.
Fred also hosts a podcast, “Freezing Cold Take Spotlights with Fred Segal,” which you can find on iTunes.