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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) runs after hitting a home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Weekend winners

Stewart Cink. Dude turned the Heritage on Hilton Head into his own personal after-work nine-hole best ball. Cink opened 63-63 and never was threatened on his way to a five-shot walk-away W. For a long time Cink lived in Smyrna and I met him a few times in and around my hometown. Always a super nice guy.  

Anthony Gonzalez. The former THE Ohio State WR and current Ohio congressman is proposing federal legislation for college athletes to capitalize on their 'Name, Image and Likeness' according to Peter King. This issue is divisive and a lot of folks believe this will forever change college sports. It will. But the change of having a blanket federal law rather than state-by-state guidelines makes the Alabamas and the Clemsons and THE Ohio States have the same standards, which is a way, Way, WAY better change to college sports than the other way around. Face it, college sports is going to be massively overhauled in the next decade, and since the NCAA is the organizational version of that circus VW bug that 24 clowns pile out of when it stops, someone is going to have lead the difficult path into the next generation.

Amazon. We have frequently bounced around ideas and beliefs of the way the future of this or that will look like. Yes, the betting surge in sports will only continue to reshape the viewing experience and the way sports gamblers consume action and information. Now comes this from the New York Post and it's a look at how Amazon is going beyond that and offering broadcast formats that can be crafted by the individual viewer. While the rest of the sports broadcast world is reacting, that story sure makes it feel like Amazon is transforming the sports broadcast realm. "Your game, your way," is the slogan as Amazing gets ready to be the home of Thursday night football in 2022.  

Sean Kazmar. Want the picture of commitment, get a selfie with Sean. Dude made his MLB return with the Braves over the weekend. He was last in the big leagues in 2008. Yes, more than a decade toiling in the minors for one more day in the sunshine. Here's more and this story has a Disney+ movie feel to it gang.

Yellowstone fans. Kevin Costner offered a little social media teaser. Yes please.

 

Weekend losers

All of us. Have we not been through enough? If Ronald Acuña's abdominal strain is serious, well, then that could well be my breaking point. I need Acuña's fearless style on the bases and at the plate. Yes, there are a lot of folks among us who need a serious refresher course on the actual definition of the word need, but trust, Acuña simply put is the most enjoyable thing in sports right now. And, other than wondering how the bullpen will throw-up on itself, one of the only things that makes these Braves watchable. (Side note: If you have been fortunate enough to ride the S.S. Acuña in the player props betting circles, well, let's just say that dude has scored at least one run in 10 straight games. Checks, please.) How much fun is Acuña right now? Uh, did you see him score from second on a ground ball to short over the weekend. How good has he been with the bat? In his last 162 games heading into the weekend series with the Cubs, Acuña had 51 homers and 43 stolen bases. Please be OK. Please be OK.

All of us. I'm not sure there could ever be justice for the family of George Floyd considering the nightmare of those events, especially perpetrated by police. But in the definition of the word, I do not see how justice can be blind in the trial of Derek Chauvin for killing Floyd considering what hangs in the balance. The NBA is prepared to postpone games depending on the verdict. The National Guard has been activated in Philadelphia. Absolutely, Chauvin looks guilty as bleep in the video, but imagine being in that jury room and trying to balance all that is at stake. Because any decision made because of violence and damage that likely would result from the other outcome, is not justice.

All of us. It's been what, 14, 15 minutes since our last mass shooting. Buckets of bullets this is crazy.

The Yankees. Egad. Swept by the Rays and losers of five straight. How about this: Knicks are chasing home-court in a first-round playoff series; Yankees are in last place.

 

Addressing the issue

You know the rules. Here's Weeds on uber-veteran John Fulkerson. Weeds mentions Bernie and Ernie, who I think were in the same recruiting class as Fulkerson.

Part of Weeds' premise is that Fulkerson is among the last good things we can point to college hoops.

I have for years bemoaned the fading entertainment value on the product and the complete neutering of the college basketball regular season.

And, considering I did not fill out a bracket this March for the first time in more than 30 years, well, I watched less of the NCAA tournament this spring than since before we knew of Jimmy V and his need to hug someone on that dark night in New Mexico.

There are a slew of issues of course, and Weeds touched on a few of them. The block/charge nightmare and inexcusable path to the replay screen are chief among them.

In fact, it's hardly surprising that the rules the NCAA bigwigs are reviewing in an effort to make college hoops better are so misguided, Magellan is somewhere giggling about it.

It's deck chair arrangements after striking the iceberg in a lot of ways.

And don't get me started about some of them. The NCAA wants to add a sixth foul (terrible idea) and add an extra step to traveling because everyone walks anyway. (Side question: Isn't that like making it OK not pay your taxes because on the premise that everyone cheats on their taxes anyway?)

I am intrigued by the discussion of eliminating the charge on off-the-ball or help defenders.

And, the simple truth for college basketball — and all sports really — either get 100% in or get out of the technology as a referee tool.

Because this halfway business is bad for everyone.

 

This and that

— Bleep off COVID. For real. Yes, we could say that daily, and yes, there are multiple stories from multiple places that elicit anger and empathy because of this dreadful virus. Now comes news that the local health department believes the funeral services of Charles Coolidge had people in attendance who had COVID and are notifying those who may have been exposed.

— Not sure it's a winner or a loser, but one of the beneficiaries of the proposed legalized sports betting law in New York is youth sports organizations in the state. That would be so boss. Imagine Mrs. Sports Bettor bemoaning, "Honey why in the name of Derek Jeter are you putting two dimes on West Coast WNBA?" Mr.s Sports Bettor: "I'm doing it for the children, hon."

— Apparently Morrissey did not like The Simpsons caricature of the aging 1990s indie-rock-alternative lead singer. Whether it's Apu Mayor Quimby, Cletus, Duff Man or some overweight newspaper columnist with a boss mullet who enjoys the occasional afternoon CoCola, well, satire that goes after everyone equally is not racism or any of the other -isms. It's comedy. And yes, there's a fine line, but can you be doing at -ism if you are mocking everyone?

— Maybe this is former Mayor Andy Berke's attempt to spit shine his legacy, but I'm not buying. In his eight years in office, Chattanooga has become one of the most crime-riddled cities for its size in America. A quick Google search reveals that rather quickly. Here's the first entry I saw on the interwebs that crunched numbers to show Chattanooga to be among the worst. As for the VRI curtailing gang violence, shootings and violent crime that conveniently are deemed non-gang-related are still shootings and violent crime, no?

— Offer this with no comment just found it quite interesting. Breonna Taylor's mother took to Facebook and called Black Lives Matter a "fraud" and added, ""I've watched y'all raise money on behalf of Breonna's family who has never done a damn thing for us nor have we needed it or asked so Talk about fraud."    

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall rounding up the spring games at Alabama, Auburn and Georgia.

 

Today's question

Multiple choice Monday will offer this:

Who is your favorite professional athlete to watch right now?

Mine is clearly Ronald Acuña. Who is yours, and I didn't want to limit the options, so this is the most multiple of multiple choice Mondays?

As for today, well, Maria Sharapova celebrates a birthday. Want to hear something crazy? Sharapova is 34 today. Yes, 34. That's more than five years younger than Serena Williams friends.

Kate Hudson is 42, and like Jules, any chance we get to reference the almost perfect motion picture that was "Almost Famous" we feel obligated to do so. And speaking of movie perfection, on this day last year, Steve Dalkowski died from COVID complications. He was 80.

Dalko, as he was known, was a hard-throwing left-hander who was the model and inspiration for the Ebby Calvin 'Nuke' LaLoosh character in Bull Durham. https://www.si.com/mlb/video/2020/04/29/story-of-steve-dalkowski

Also, on this day in 1948, ABC debuted.
Rushmore of ABC shows, and I have to believe Happy Days is a no-brainer, right? And I think Monday Night Football has a strong argument, too.

What else?

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