Nick Saban. Friday came news of the Dark Lord's monster contract extension through 2025. (If he stays through the deal he will make $74 million in base salary.) Gang, he's worth every nickel. If Saban was the head of say, Wal-Mart and had the same results in BID-ness as he has had in T-Town, well, he'd be making $50-$100 million per
SEC recruiting. Tennessee got a couple nice commitments over the weekend and they still were not the headliner. Georgia got another five-star running back. And Alabama has its biggest recruiting weekend coming up. According to the 247sports rankings, the top three classes are Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A&M. (Side note: How good is UGA's class? They have as many five stars ((5)) as the rest of the top six classes combined.) The SEC has seven of the top-15 classes and nine of the top 18. Wowser.
Hall of Fame inductees. Here's Weeds on Chipper Jones being an absolute, no-doubt, first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Dustin Johnson. Dude crushed it. Did anyone else feel shocked by this stat? Johnson now has 19 wins in the last decade, more than anyone on tour since 2008. No that's not overly surprising considering he is the No. 1 player in the world. The shocking part is he passed Tiger Woods' 18 wins in that time frame.
LeBron James. Yes he's flush with greenbacks and has a fair amount of disposable income. Forget the GOAT conversation for a second and whether he should three more titles or two fewer. Monday the I Promise School started by James for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, will open. If the 200 or so students who attend I Promise stay on the path and qualify, James has arranged for them to have their tuition at Akron University covered. That's awesome.
Dakota Hudson. The Dunlap, Tenn., native and Sequatchie County High grad made his big-league debut over the weekend and pitched a scoreless inning in his debut. He fanned the first MLB hitter he faced and got a standing O from the Busch Stadium crowd. Even better was the video of how Hudson heard he was getting the call up to the Cardinals. Awesome stuff, and a for-sure weekend winner.
Braves. Yes, Sean Newcomb was awesome Sunday and was a strike away from a no-no. And then we learned that Newcomb was an immature high school senior. Shocker. Here's what we also learned: This team is several steps back from the elite and here's betting that knowledge is not lost of the decision makers heading into to tomorrow's trading deadline. How bad has the offense been? The Braves hit .175 and were outscored 26-7 before Newcomb's gem in a 4-1 win Sunday.
Everyone in involved in the A.J. Johnson case. The girl. The players. Everyone. How this lasted four years for the jury to need roughly an hour to decide not guilty. Man, what an awful chain of events.
Tom Brady. What a baby reaction. Or a Belichick reaction. Sadly we are in a place in which the big names — in sports and in about everything else — expect only softball questions. Yes, there are a lot of folks who ask terrible questions in this business, and when those questions come about, we are the first to point them out. But Julian Edelman is suspended for the first four games for PEDs. His doctor/trainer is Brady's buddy Alex Guerrero. Someone asked about that connection and Brady ended the interview like a spoiled brat. Truth be told, Brady is having unprecedented success as a 40-something. Someone should ask Brady about PEDs.
Speaking of which...
Journalism has had a rough run.
Yes, the interweb has changed everything, good, bad and indifferent. That's not part of this debate, though.
With the distractions and noise and the common defense mechanism of blaming the messenger, we have never needed good journalism more than right now.
In some ways, sports journalists could be the NASCAR version of a somewhat regular topic here on Weekend Losers because well, you know.
That said, it been an especially rough stretch that started with the New York Daily News (which had the glorious headline, "Go to Hall, Larry!" when Chipper was inducted, and it was more fitting considering how much he tortured the Metropolitans) gutting its sports department.
We started thinking more about this because of the Brady pout-fest, and we had no issue with the question that made Brady shutter.
But there's the practical and the technical aspects that certainly have to be disconcerting. First the technical. Breaking news: Teenage boys say and do dumb things.
And yes, there is reason to apologize for what some of these kids have Tweeted and the thoughts and actions they had as high schoolers. But as stupid as those posts were, at what point do teams take an active approach and scrub the social media accounts of every athlete?
We also know this: Thank the good Lord that there was no Twitter or FaceSpace or anything like that when we were at Campbell High School in Smyrna, G-A, back in the 1980s. Buckets of public mistakes and bad decisions.
Is it news? We're not disputing that, and we can see how it offends. But man, it seems like we are overblowing this and the trolling of every aspect of every famous person's life makes me as a journalist shake my head.
As for the practical, and this can not be overstated. The athletes and coaches have always tried to control the message and that's what makes asking good questions so important.
But now athletes are controlling the platforms that present the message. LeBron James' The Uninterrupted had his first post-Lakers signing interview.
Derek Jeter's website The Player's Tribune may have been the first. The Uninterrupted may become the biggest. And we believe they will be the forerunners of an expanding trend.
This and that
— Newcomb was close to a no-no, and that got us thinking. His one-hitter means the number of no-hitters in MLB history remains at 299 (including postseason); 23 perfect games all-time. Number of dudes who hit for the cycle: Occurred 319 times; Natural cycle has happened 14 times; Remember Nolan Ryan threw 7 no-nos and the record for cycles is 4, most recently by Adrian Beltre
— Saw this tweet from someone calling themselves Mike Loyko: Interesting note from @GregABedard DE Keionta Davis is running with the 2nd team DL already. Forgotten man because of he missed rookie year and went undrafted due to injury, but he was a talented prospect entering the 2017 draft. Davis, you will recall is a Red Bank High and UTC grad.
— Hey Joe Simpson. Relax pal.
— Bryce Harper's frustrations run over. "Bryce Harper on J.T. Realmuto's walk-off single: "If that guy was on our side, that wouldn't have happened."
— T.O. opened up to TMZ about his decision to skip his induction at Canton. The reasons are not overly surprising.
— NFL football player Michael Bennett has been wearing a red cap around training camp with white lettering. It says "Immigrants Make America Great." We'd prefer to add the word "Legal" in front of that, but hey that's us.
— Here's Nicole Briscoe, ESPN personality coming dangerously close to and possibly dropping the F-bomb on a telecast. What do you think?
— What Newcomb and Trae Turner posted on social media accounts when they were in high school as offensive and certainly not cool or OK. But man, the prism in which we term what is acceptable is ever moving. Those tweets caused a fire storm. But Sacha Baron Cohen using pedophilia as a prop for his comedy show is fine by everyone?
Weekend winners and losers. Discuss.
As for today, July 30, today is national Father-in-Lawe day, national cheesecake day, and national support public education day.
As for birthdays, well, Arnold Schwarzenegger is 70 today. Yes, 70.
(As for 70 years ago, well, Pro wrestling premiered own prime-time network TV on this day in 1948.)
We could do a Rushmore of Schwarzenegger movies. We'd roll out the Terminators, Running Man and Predator and let the chips fall where they may.
Instead, let's try the Rushmore of Arnolds, and have some fun