I’ll start off by saying I’m not a fan of the Detroit Lions. I am also not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. The outcome of their playoff game was good for me as a Seattle Seahawks fan. To be fair I did pick Detroit to win the game in the Sports Time Radio playoff picks. Dallas winning sends them to Green Bay while Seattle will play the Carolina Panthers instead of the Lions. With all of that out-of-the-way if you are a fan of the Lions you got robbed of any chance to win that playoff game against the Cowboys. The referees throw a flag for pass interference and then it’s picked up with no explanation that I heard. If it wasn’t pass interference it was what they used to call face guarding. Either way it was a terrible call by an officiating crew that was given this game on merit. Not only did the officials blow that call they missed a clear as day holding call on 4th down. I know people will say they could call holding on every play, but when it’s as blatant as this holding was it needs to be called. The Cowboys gained 21 yards on this 4th down on the drive that led to the eventual game winning touchdown. If they would’ve called the holding penalty it would’ve been 4th down with 16 yards to go and the Cowboys would’ve opted for a punt. No there’s no guarantee that Detroit would’ve scored had they gotten the football, but it might have changed the way the game ended. Maybe it goes to overtime and we have a different finish. Detroit was in the process of getting the momentum back when the first missed called happened and that drive could’ve also changed the outcome of the game. While I understand that this was just terrible officiating and hopefully the referees who worked this game are done for the rest of the playoffs, but since everyone is always looking for a good conspiracy; how about this one. I’m sure the NFL was happy with the AFC match ups. They have Peyton Manning with his new team the Denver Broncos against his old team the Indianapolis Colts. The other AFC game has the New England Patriots against the Baltimore Ravens A couple of really good solid match ups, but the NFC side was lacking something. With the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs as an under .500 team the NFL would like a match up to take the interest away from an under .500 team. How about a game between two marquee teams; the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys and the Packers haven’t met in the playoffs since about 1900 with Schaumburg Stu in attendance. I’m just kidding about that; it was the 1967 NFL Championship game which is referred to as the Ice Bowl. I don’t know if Schaumburg Stu was in attendance for that game or not. I’m pretty sure the NFL got the marketable match up they wanted with this game and all it took was a few referees looking the other way and picking up a flag to make it happen for the fans.
We wiped the slate clean for the playoffs and made our picks for the Wild Card weekend. Mr. Fantasy ended the weekend with a one game lead going 3-1. Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and I all started the playoffs off by going 2-2. Four more games for us to pick this weekend; so we’ll see how this goes for us.
Okay let’s see if I can get this three team deal correct. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded guard Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City Thunder for a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Cleveland also traded forward Lou Amundson and center Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks for guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Knicks also get forward Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City. The Knicks also waived center Samuel Dalembert. Did you get all that? Oklahoma City gets a player they hope can replace James Harden. Cleveland gets a former 6th man of the year with some issues and an upgrade on defense at the guard position. The Knicks get the valuable salary cap room they where looking for. You have to wonder if the Cavaliers and the Thunder are done dealing. The Cavaliers still haven’t found a way to replace the injured Anderson Varejao. Smith and Shumpert won’t fill the void created by Varejao’s season ending injury. The Thunder now have quite a bit of back court depth and you have to wonder if a Anthony Morrow, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb or even Ish Smith might be on their way out of Oklahoma soon. The Cavaliers have had their eye on Denver Nuggets big man Timofey Mozgov, but getting him is proving difficult. Kosta Koufus is another big man on the Cavaliers radar and may not command a hefty price tag, but don’t be surprised if Memphis is reluctant to move him. Those are a couple of the rumored deals out their for the Cavaliers, but with Waiters being dealt will they have the pieces to land the center they need. In a bit of what I’d considered odd NBA news it’s being reported that Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders has informed team officials that he doesn’t want to play basketball anymore. Sanders, who is averaging just 7.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season, has not played in the team’s last six games due to a combination of an illness and personal reasons. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out in the coming weeks. If Sanders were to retire, he wouldn’t earn the $33 million remaining on his contract after this season.
For the first time since 1955 four players will enter the baseball Hall of Fame. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smolts all made it into the Hall of Fame on their first ballot while Craig Biggio gets in this year after just missing by a couple of votes last year. For the most part I believe they got the voting right this season and you can’t always say that. I wasn’t as sold on Smoltz as a lot of people where, but the writers like him and he’s working for the MLB Network now; so he gets in with 82.9 % of the vote. With Smoltz getting in this opens the door for two pitchers that are on the ballot with similar stats as Smoltz. That would be Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina; Schilling got 39.2 % of the vote and Mussina got 24.6 % of the vote. Of course I don’t have a vote, but I don’t believe that either of these players belong in the Hall of Fame. While it is just my opinion and I did see both of these players throughout their entire playing careers. I’m guessing they both get in down the road, but they wouldn’t get my vote. A player that would get my vote, but didn’t get a lot of votes from anyone else was Gary Sheffield. Sheffield’s problem is he is part of the steroids era of Major League Baseball and those guys don’t get a lot of votes, but Sheffield only got 11.7 % of the vote in his first year on the ballot. No player has ever gotten into the Hall of Fame after getting less than 15% of the vote; so it looks like Sheffield won’t ever get a call from Cooperstown and I wish he would.
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