FOOTBALL!!! It’s back, folks, as the NCAA opened its doors for the 2014 college football season. There were some exciting football games for week one, especially amongst the top two spots. Elsewhere, the NFL made some news not by who made certain teams, but more so for who didn’t. Baseball has been creeping along, but Monday is September first and that’s when the final leg of this intense playoff race really heats up. And today, my Nitro League drafts on Labor Day Weekend Sunday for the 17th year in a row. Now, that’s just wacky, my friends. So sit back and get caught up on you Wacky Week in Sports.
Week one is usually filled with some laughers to get the good teams rolling with some decisive victories. It didn’t quite go down that way, especially for the defending champs and Ol’ Saint Nick’s Rolling Tide. Jeremy Pruitt proved to be amongst the best defensive coordinators in the business, not just for what his new Georgia Bulldogs did in the second half of their game, but for how lost the Seminole defense looked without him. The unranked Oklahoma State put a huge scare into the number one seeded Seminoles, scoring 14 points in the final quarter to make Florida State sweat it out. The final score was 37-31 as the Cowboys outplayed the champs in the second half, outscoring them by one point. The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic was almost an instant classic as unranked West Virginia hung around with Alabama for nearly the whole game, losing 33-23. TJ Yeldon made his presence felt as he went off for 126 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Down the road in Athens, the Dogs came out shaky in their first half of the Hutson Mason/ Jeremy Pruitt era in the matchup of the day that pitted number 12 Georgia versus the number 16 Clemson Tigers. After a first half that saw the Bulldog defense get run over to a score of 21-21, the Dawgs completely shutdown the Tigers in the second half, outscoring them 24-0 for a 45-21 victory. The attack was led by 2014 Heisman Trophy winner (yea, I’m penciling it in already) Todd Gurley who went off for 198 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also added another touchdown on a thrilling 100 yard kickoff return touchdown. Can I just take Gurley with my first pick in today’s fantasy draft? The Jerry Bowl, the other marquee matchup of the day, must have given my boy Jason Steen a heart attack. His number 13 LSU Tigers were down to the number 14 Wisconsin Badger’s 24-7. With the Badgers notorious clamp down defense and time killing rushing attack, it looked like the Tiger’s day was done. However, behind wide receiver Travin Dural’s 80-yard touchdown and 151 yard day, LSU came roaring back with 21 unanswered points for the 28-24 victory. Finally, my boys in Delaware made a bold move by opening their season against the ACC powerhouse Pittsburgh Panthers. We lost 62-0 and now my football season is over. The Florida Gators game was cancelled due to scary conditions. Aaron Hernandez escaped and was running amok in The Swamp. No official NFL suspension of Hernandez has yet to be handed down.
Which brings us to the NFL. Iron fisted Commissioner Goodell upheld Josh Gordon‘s one year suspension for smoking marijuana. Goodell admitted this week that he blew the Ray Rice domestic violence case in which he inexplicably only suspended Rice for two games after beating his wife unconscious. The punishment has now changed to a mandatory six game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense. Now, while Goodell made one thing right, he blew a chance to make Gordon’s wrong a right. There is no excuse for a year suspension on any crime that doesn’t endanger someone else’s life. Think about it, a then 22-year old kid who should still be in college, was caught with marijuana. In other words, he was being a 22-year old college kid. He didn’t hurt the face of the NFL like Rice did who had feminist groups up in arms over the decision. He didn’t hurt anyone else, like Aaron Hernandez and his multiple killing sprees (who as I already said, still has no official suspension from the NFL). It didn’t effect his game in anyway as a performance enhancer (unless of course he is like Ki-Jana Carter and openly admits that he can’t play if he isn’t high, dumbass). The only people hurt by Gordon’s one year suspension are Cleveland fans and Fantasy Footballers like myself who now can’t have the second best wide receiver in football on their rosters. Thanks, Rog.
This week was also final cut week for the 53-man Opening Day rosters. There were some surprises, like The Law Firm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis from the Bengals and Daniel Thomas from the Dolphins, but none rang out louder than Michael Sam from the Rams. It was a lousy fit from the get go with the Rams being so deep on the defensive line, but Sam came out and did a lot of things right that gave him a positive grade from Pro Football Focus. In the end, his two sacks (one of which leveled Johnny Football to the tune of Sam throwing that stupid Cash Money Dance right in Manziel’s face) and quarterback hurries weren’t enough to make him the 53rd player on the roster. The Rams hope to keep Sam on the practice squad, however most experts don’t feel Sam will make it through waivers and may join another team this Monday.
You know who it must suck to be? Bryce Harper. He comes up side by side with Mike Trout as the face of the new era of the MLB. The two of them were to rewrite the beloved books of stat filled history for saber metric geeks everywhere. Since then, Harper has become an injury-prone, whiny, little, disrespectful baby, while Mike Trout has become the face of baseball. Yes, Harper’s Nationals are making quite the run at the NL pennant, but Trout’s Angels are arguably the hottest team in baseball, and a lot of that has to do with Trout. And who doesn’t love to watch Trout play? Does anyone outside of the DC area even care about Harper? I know Atlanta fans would love to see him duct taped at home plate so their pitchers could rifle endless fastballs at him. Anyone else?
Anyway, Monday is September 1st and that means two things. One, rosters expand and we get to finally see all of those heralded minor league top prospects we have been hearing about all season. Two, these playoff races are heating up for an exciting finish. The AL has a legitimate six team Wild Card race going on, while the NL is a five team race with the surprise Miami Marlins still in contention. What is even more exciting is that aside from the AL and NL East, four of the divisions are still wide open. Justin Verlander finally put in a Justin Verlander performance to even the Detroit Tigers up with the surging Kansas City Royals atop the AL Central. Now the Michael Brantley led (yea, I actually typed that) Cleveland Indians, who are in a crucial series with the Royals, are creeping back into the hunt just 3.5 games out of first. By the way, is Corey Kluber the best pitcher in the AL? Where did he come from? In the NL, as Yusmeiro Petit keeps retiring batters (46 in a row, seriously?) and Madison Bumgarner continues throwing gem after gem, the San Francisco Giants are looking a lot like those 2010 and 2012 Giants. You know, those guys that wound up putting their one-time ace Tim Lincecum in the pen and got by on lights out pitching and timely hitting? Don Mattingly and his Dodgers better look out behind them!
That’s a wrap for this week, folks, because let’s admit it, no other sports really matter right now. That’s because we are just four days away from the kickoff to the NFL season. Enjoy your last Sunday of the Wacky Week in Sports because next week we move to Monday’s to recap all of your NFL action!