A different view of sports

Clearing my mind and notebook while remaining impressed that Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team is 14-0 all-time in the ACC Tournament entering Sunday’s championship game against Louisville:

No respect

Lamar Jackson is another Heisman Trophy winner who doesn’t get enough respect as a quarterback from most NFL scouts.

At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week, there were reports that several teams approached the former Louisville player about participating in wide receiver drills. Jackson denied those reports while dismissing any notion that he would even entertain the idea.

“No sir, I’m a quarterback,” he said.

General manager Bill Polian of the Indianapolis Colts is one NFL executive who projects Jackson  as a better wide out prospect.

What fuels such thoughts are Jackson’s size, speed and running ability  in the open field – although he never caught a pass in his three years with the Cardinals. He also has been plagued by accuracy issues during his career, completing just 59 percent of his passes. Some scouts are also dismissive of his height and slender frame for a QB, but at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds he’s bigger than other quarterbacks in the draft.

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is just a tad over 6-foot and 214, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett is 6-1 and 224 and Southern California’s Sam Darnold is just 6-3 and 221.

Also, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, who is rated by some as the best long-term prospect, completed just 56 percent of his passes.

Bird brained

FOX Sports college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb recently said that while most experts prefer to debate whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James was the better player in their prime, he could make an argument Larry Bird was also superior than James.

In fact, Gotlieb is convinced he’d rather have the basketball in the hands of Bird, Jordan or Magic Johnson at crunch time.

When it comes to rating  Hall of Famers, there probably isn’t a wrong answer. But no one should be be dismissive of  James’ success in the NBA. James has won 37 of 86 Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors since he’s been in the league. In comparison, Kobe Bryant only won the Western Conference Player of the Month award 15 times since the league began giving separate conference honors.

Besides, as a lifelong Milwaukee Bucks fan who still has nightmares about Bird, I refuse to be drawn into such debates. Oscar Robertson is the best ever, the original GOAT.

They said it

Golf Channel’s David Feherty on stepping off the course for his first Winter Olympics assignment as a broadcaster: “I can’t tell you how many times I slipped and fell on my ass. I invented a new skating jump: the Triple Klutz. That’s when you fall down once and fall down twice more trying to get up.”

San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler: “Charles Barkley was once asked to name his favorite white wine. He said, ‘Danny Ainge’.”

TBS comedian Conan O’Brien: “Papa John’s announced they will no longer be a sponsor for the NFL. After hearing this, Peyton Manning said, “Wait – you mean I’ve been eating this crap for nothing?”

CBS comedian James Corden: “To celebrate last year’s NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors are reportedly meeting with local children in Washington, D.C., instead of visiting President Trump in the White House. It is really nice of the Golden State Warriors to visit a bunch of children instead of just one?”

RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Ravens CB and 2017 draft pick Marlon Humphrey was arrested for robbery. Take heart Baltimore: he’s already performing like an NFL vet.”

Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald: “The four-man bobsled features people holding on for dear life as they plunge down an icy track. Or, as we call that in Omaha during winter, ‘carpool’.”

 Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: “Canadian skier David Duncan, along with his trainer and wife were arrested for allegedly being DUI in a stolen vehicle in South Korea. Know Canada did well with 29 Olympic medals but maybe they tried too hard to prove they are equal of American athletes.”

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:  “Among Arkansas’ crop of college football signees this offseason is a four-star linebacker named Bumper Pool. To no one’s surprise, he’s unusually adept at bouncing off blockers.”

Comedian Steve Hofstetter: “The funniest thing about Donald Trump tweeting as if Obama was responsible for the US (poor) medal count is that Obama’s Winter Olympics were the USA’s #1 and #3 best ever.”

Gun violence

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rae Carruth has given up plans to petition for custody of his son, Chancellor, when he is released from prison in a few months.

Carruth has been imprisoned for 17 years for conspiracy of murder in the death of his former girlfriend, Cherica Adams. He was convicted of paying Van Brett Watkins to shoot Adams in 2001 when she became pregnant and refused to get an abortion. Adams died in the hospital but not before Chancellor was  delivered prematurely by C-Section. Because of the circumstances of his birth, Chancellor has cerebral palsy and will need a lifelong caretaker.

Now 18, Chancellor is cared for by Saundra Adams, his maternal grandmother. But Carruth, who will be released from prison in October, had announced he intended to pursue custody of his son. The son he wanted dead.

After much public outcry over his intentions to gain custody, Carruth has suddenly changed his mind.

“For all involved or invested in this ordeal, please calm down,” Carruth wrote in a letter to the Charlotte Observer. “I will no longer be pursuing a relationship with Chancellor and Ms. Adams. I promise to leave them be, which I now see is in everyone’s best interests.”

Public opinion can be a powerful agent of change.

Gun violence II

Parkland, Florida students helped changed the conversation on gun violence after the Valentine’s Day massacre of 14 students and three adults, who were all coaches, at their school.

With a majority of Americans now believing semi-automatic assault weapons should be banned, several students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stepped up to lead  protests, calling on legislators to pass meaningful gun laws and mental health legislation on the state and national level. They’ve appeared on various television news talk shows, led community rallies and participated in town hall discussions. They’ve also planned a “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C. and other cities on March 24.

Interestingly, the National Park Service has not issued the group a permit to hold the rally on the National Mall, saying its been reserved as a rain date for a teen talent show being staged by an unknown “educational institution.”

The name of the organization and all contact info were redacted on the copy of the permit given to the Washington Post after a Freedom of Information request.

Could it be an “educational arm” of the National Rifle Association?

Headlines

SportsPickle.com: “Sam Darnold wows scouts at NFL Combine with record 4-hours, 37 minutes in the Anthem Stand.”

TheOnion.com: “Boxing coach wishes just once he could mentor someone who already fully worked through childhood trauma.”

Fark.com: “Seems no one wants to watch an Earnhardt-free NASCAR.”

SportsPickle.com: “St. Louis Cardinals still planning to hold Assault Weapon Giveaway Night promotion.”

TheOnion.com: “Has Shaun White finally captured enough gold medals to satisfy the Snow Princess Yuki-Onna?”

Fark.com: “Multiple NFL teams ask one of the best QBs in the draft to do WR drills at the combine.”

TheOnion.com: “Doug Pederson informs Nick Foles he’s been traded to Browns while handing him Lombardi Trophy.”

My takes

Rehastagging this week’s top Tweets from @Randy_Beard11

  • Notre Dame women are still unbeaten all-time in ACC Tournament at 14-0 after beating Florida State 90-80. Jackie Young and Irish will play Louisville at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. The two teams tied for regular season title but Cardinals won only meeting, 100-67, on home floor.
  • Evansville men (17-15, 7-11. MVC) were 7-10 since calendar flipped to January in 10-team league that only had 4 teams (Loyola 15-3; S. Illinois 11-7; Illinois St. 10-8: Drake 10-8) with winning conference records. I’m not sure Missouri Valley is even a 1-bid league with Wichita St. gone.
  • Who is best wannabe baseball player/quarterback in New York: Yankees’ Russell Wilson or Mets’ Tim Tebow? Better question, who cares? Never mind that Tebow is also now a wannabe QB.
  • South Carolina women finally beat Tennessee, 73-62, but guard play still an issue with 27 turnovers. Fortunately A’ja Wilson played and had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Held UT to 23 of 86 (26.7 %) shooting.
  • Without A’ja Wilson, South Carolina women are a basket case, not a basketball team.

 Soup de jour

It’s probably not a good idea to go up against J.R. Smith in a food fight. Clearly, he doesn’t mind slinging whatever is in his reach, as he proved when he tossed a bowl of soup at Cleveland Cavs assistant coach Damon Jones.

The news spread quickly around the NBA, and provided numerous one-liners on camera and on social media.

Said Golden State coach Steve Kerr when asked about the incident by Anthony Slate of the Athletic: “I would have chosen a more hearty entrée.”

Alas, Kerr hasn’t commented publicly over Warriors guard Steph Curry’s glass-shattering moment in an Atlanta hotel room. Curry, who fancies himself tackling the professional golf tour one day, busted a glass table top while taking practice swings.

But at least he’s had prior experience dealing with such moments. For a Chase commercial promoting a mobile app, Curry has previously “paid” for a lamp and a clock that were accidently broken while playing table tennis with Serena Williams.

As for his true moment of being a klutz, Curry tweeted:

”When you feel like you’re on the @pgatour so you gotta get some swings going in the hotel room. #idiot.

This was No. 42 of my “From Sidelines to punchlines” columns. I can be reached at randy.beard@yahoo.com

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