Bob Baffert. Dude is the MJ of horse training, no? He came in rather unheralded — especially for someone with the ego and the accomplishments of a six-time Derby winner like Baffert — and his horse Medina Spirit was fast and won wire-to-wire. Side note and another winner: In NBC's coverage, Steve Konracki — yes, the fellow who broke down the numbers during the elections and became a news sensation by crunching numbers and making predictions on that data — was aces. ACES. And he called funky cold Medina Spirit before the race at 12-to-1. Get used to Konracki, who truly KER-rushed it Saturday in Louisville.
Zoë Roth. Who? Yes, that Zoë Roth, who is the little girl with the sly smile on her face with a house burning in the background in a photo that became one of the first memes and gifs. Roth's father took the photo in 2005 and it became an internet fav a few years later. Well, Roth, now 21 and in college, sold the original photo as a NFT — non-fungible token — at auction for (fair for it) $473,000.
Alabama A&M head coach Connell Maynor channelled his inner Ric Flair after his team won the conference title over the weekend. And gang, if you don't click on anything else from today's chat, click on this one. WOOOOOO.
Sam Burns. Kudos to a likable player who won his first PGA event this weekend.
The draft. Yes, I love the draft — you know this — but this was so much more. You know what, more on this in a moment, let's replace this one with my little blonde right-hander. Two starts over the weekend, two more wins. Six innings pitched, 17 Ks, two earned runs. Sunday, she pitched the first two innings and struck out six in order. But her stupid coach pulled her right there in the middle of a Steve Nebraska-like roll. (Yep, her stupid coach in that one was you know who.)
The Braves. Yes, the Blue Jays are good and are going to be in the AL East chase til the finish. But the Braves were supposed to be good too, and the rotation is getting shelled.
LeBron James. Yes, the Lakers have been under the dark cloud of injuries. And that certainly can cause frustrations. But James' inability to choose his words wisely of late was on display again over the weekend — "Whoever came up with that (bleep) needs to be fired" — about the NBA's new play-in postseason set up. First, James calling for someone — especially someone making their living connected in professional basketball — to be fired is a big deal. If James called for Adam Silver to be fired, well, it would be discussed. Simply put James is the most powerful person in the NBA. Period. Moreover, the appearance is again rotten for LBJ. It's only an issue now that James' Lakers are staring at being in the playoff. And LeBron — injuries and all — complaining about playing 72 games after a 71-day offseason comes off as tone deaf as a lamppost considering James' annual salary is $39,219,566. And that's just basketball. So that works out to $544,716.19 per game over 72 games.
This one stinks. There are few places on this planet as nasty as the public porta-potty, and I admit that every time I am forced to use one — and believe you me, the only times I enter it is a five-alarm bathroom emergency — I have a fear of something falling or or knocking the facility over. To be inside one and have a tree fall on it? Again, that stinks. Bad.
MLB umps. Man, it feels like every other day there's a worse call made and then some loophole blocks replay from overturning it.
Jesus Luzardo. The A's left-hander broke his pinkie and is out indefinitely. Comebacker? No. Hurt during a bunt attempt? Nope. Luzardo broke the pinkie on his pitching hand when he thumped a table while playing video games. Ouch-standing.
That was great. Great.
The NFL Draft had everything.
It had drama.
It had romance — did you see the fan couple get engaged while announcing the Chiefs pick on Day 3?
It had emotion — did you see the story on Michigan defensive end Kwitty Paye, who after going in round 1 told the TV crew that his momma — an immigrant from Liberia, where his father still lives, who made unbelievable sacrifices for Paye to play college football — had just retired and would never work again?
It had humor and great coverage — few in the media BID-ness are as good at what they cover as Kiper and McShay are for ESPN in the draft. (And did you see the Bills third-round pick become an immediate fan favorite for the Bills Mafia by table-diving to celebrate getting drafted? Good times.)
It was self-deprecating, and Goodell and the crew were pitch perfect all weekend. Heck, even Bill Belichick looked human and charismatic by sharing the shot of the Pats War Room with his dog, which was the breakout star of the Zoomed draft of 2020.
And maybe most of all, it was a chance to get together. There were more than 100,000 people at the Cleveland event over the weekend, and for the first time, there was a feeling of normalcy. A feeling that I hope we can continue to replicate through the summer.
As for the details, and the grades, well, everyone can believe they deserve an 'A' and that's fine. In truth, as we said on Friday, it's impossible to know who its and who misses this morning.
Loved what the Bears did. And the Pats, too. And the Jets. And the Dolphins, who got a lot of value and still have a slew of picks down the road. And I loved, Loved, LOVED the Browns getting the fastest player in college football in the third round. Yes, Anthony Schwartz went to Auburn, but he was criminally underused there and could be a dude in the league. He's so fast Deion goes, "Dang, that kid can run."
But the hope for better gives everyone a lift and every fan base a boost.
That said, let's check some numbers.
Did you see that every SEC team had at least one player picked? The SEC had the most players drafted (65) for the 15th straight year.
Also, Michigan State's streak ended at 80 drafts with a player picked. Michigan and USC have had at least one draft choice in 82 consecutive drafts.
THE Ohio State and Alabama each had 10 players hear their names called. Notre Dame and UGA had nine each.
Who's ready for some football?
This and that
— Oy vey, now there are calls from Democrats for President Biden to issue a fourth round of stimulus checks.
— Weekend winner and loser? How about PGA player Cameron Tringale, who made more than $400,000 with a tie for third this weekend at Valspar? We forever debate the best golfer without a major, and that's a fun conversation with multiple answers. (Side answer: I think it's either Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm or Tiger woods. Wait, scratch that last one, apparently he has won a major. Sorry. Let's add Lee Westwood then.) But those are debatable. Tringale's dubious feat is mathematical, as he now has made more money playing golf than anyone who has never won a PGA Tour event. Tringale has made more than $13.7 million without a PGA Tour win.
— Not sure if this merits any of the above, but it certainly caught my eye over the weekend. Mike Farrell, no not the actor who played BJ Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H, the sports writer who works for Rivals challenged VolTwitter and the outcome was rather predictable. Farrell's a national dude and apparently pretty thin-skinned and remembered a previous spat with VolTwitter. Over the weekend, after the medical issues caused former UT O-lineman Trey Smith to drop in the draft, Farrell took a victory lap for not having Smith rated as highly as the other services. "I'll be waiting for the gift baskets and apologies from the Trey Smith should have been a 5 star crowd. Or for the excuses. One or the other." VolTwitter reacted as you'd expect VolTwitter too, since a) VolTwitter has a rep to uphold these days and b) that bunch has every right to be on edge considering how they have been jerked around by their football program for a decade-plus now. Farrell later sent a heartfelt apology and deleted the Tweet.
— Caitlyn Jenner came out over the weekend and said that transgender girls have an unfair advantage competing in female sports. And, if we're going to embrace the phrasing of 'listening to the experts' Jenner has more bona fides in this crossover conversation than anyone, no?
— Speaking of the Derby, despite having a limited number of entries — right at 40 — we did have three people pick the right last-place finisher, Soup and Sandwich. Congrats HGLIII, Justin S., Will C. for nailing the last place finisher. None had Medina Spirit, though, which means they tied at 1.1 points. Anyone got any ideas for tie-breakers? How about this? Each of the three send in a Rushmore of 'Horse' and we'll vote on the best of the three on Which Way Wednesday? Thoughts? As Bluto asked, "Who's with me?"
Weekend winners and losers. Go.
As for Multiple Choice Monday, which of these NFL teams had the best draft?
As for today, May 3, let's review.
James Brown would have been 88 today. The Godfather of Soul is a boss sauce nickname.
Motown Rushmore? Go.