Bullets Are Back for a Frigid Sunday

Zach LaVine is a worthy slam dunk champion but wouldn't it be nice if some actual stars participated?

I’m not sure where you are on this Sunday in February but I hope you’re warmer than I am. It’s always a real eye-opener when you look at the digital readout on the counter and it says “minus.” Ya, that’s not good but let’s talk some sports.

-I stopped watching the slam dunk competition a long time ago because it got stale and rarely did any of the game’s top stars actually participate. With that thought in mind I give you last night’s Slam Dunk Champion Zach LeVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. I just watched his dunks and I admit, they were pretty darn spectacular. The problem is that most casual NBA fans have no clue who LeVine is. He averages about seven points per game. I’d rather watch LeBron take on Kevin Durant in H-O-R-S-E.

-The New York Jets yesterday decided not to extend running back Chris Johnson who now becomes a free agent. Johnson becomes just another one of those running backs who had a couple of big seasons and then petered out.

-Major League Baseball is apparently toying with the idea of shrinking the strike zone for 2016. Since new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred took over, he’s mentioned outlawing the defensive shift against pull hitters and now wants to make the already small strike zone even smaller. If you want more offense Mr. Commissioner then how about having umpires use the original strike zone? Then maybe hitters would be more apt to swing more often?

If this man recruits your son, I'd look elsewhere.

-By trade, most college football coaches are salesmen. They have to sell themselves, their school and their program in order to get the talent they desire. That said, if Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino ever sent so much as a post card to my son I’d send it back express with a big middle finger on it. Many high schools in South Carolina have now banned Petrino after he pulled a scholarship offer promised to a player. Yes, it’s a business, but it doesn’t have to include people like Petrino. Just look at the way he’s conducted himself wherever he’s been.

-UFC President Dana White has a growing problem whether he is willing to admit it or not. More and more of his fighters are testing positive for everything from cocaine to performance-enhancing drugs. These aren’t his middle of the road fighters either. Guys like Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have tested positive after recent fights and White has to recognize that this isn’t a good look for his sport.

-NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the state of his sport yesterday and he touched on a couple of issues that I think fans will like. First of all, he wants to tweak the schedule to get players more rest and that includes cutting back on preseason games. He also appears to be open to altering playoff seeding as well but that may take awhile. My hope is that Silver also decides to cut back on regular season games period. There are too many games that are meaningless especially ones where the top players are getting rest.

-I have no idea how the game of cricket is played in terms of rules but I can tell you that India defeated Pakistan in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. What I find most interesting is that these are two countries that politically, ethnically and religiously despise each other. Yet once again sports has shown that nations can get along for a little competition every once in awhile.

Random Thoughts in the Sports World for Sunday

Silva's career may have come to an end last night in UFC 168.

There’s nothing quite like waking up on a Sunday morning, grabbing a cup of joe and sitting down to write with a virtual smorgasbord of sports topics to discuss. Today is one such Sunday morning and I’ll try to be brief on each and every topic. Sometimes I find myself ranting a bit too much on certain topics thus missing a chance to discuss more stuff. See? I’m doing it already…

Last night may have proven to be the end of one of the great careers in sports. MMA legend Anderson Silva was defeated again by Chris Wiedman in UFC 168 by TKO in the most gruesome of manners. To say Silva suffered a broken leg would be nice. Most reports are that he shattered his lower leg. Coming back from such an injury is not impossible but should Silva even bother?

He really has nothing left to prove and will always be one of the all-time greats of mixed martial arts. Don’t be surprised to see him back though.

In light of this and other gruesome injuries MMA offers on many occasions, I can’t help but wonder why people aren’t as outraged by this as they are about injuries in the National Football League. Trust me, I know the millions or billions of reasons why but if Roger Goodell would just admit ‘player safety’ is a sham and it’s all about money then I’d sleep just slightly better.

Players at Penn State should be able to leave just as freely as their head coach should he take the Texans' job.

Discussion has ramped up significantly in the last 24 hours about Penn State Head Football Coach Bill O’Brien becoming the next football coach of the Houston Texans. This would be a great ‘get’ for Texans’ owner Bob McNair as O’Brien has long been thought of as a potentially good NFL head coach. My question relates to not Houston but to Penn State. What happens to those kids who committed to play at Penn State for a coach that’s no longer there?

This is not a normal ‘coach takes another job’ situation either. You’ll recall that Penn State is in the midst of a four-year ban on playing for the Big Ten title and they may not go to any bowls in that period as well. If you really understand college football and recruiting then you know how tough it is to recruit top athletes with them knowing they won’t play for championships of any kind.

We all know the NCAA is a complete joke in almost every way and this is yet another, but something must be done to allow these players to have the same freedom their coach has.

If yesterday was in fact Teddy Bridgewater’s last collegiate game then he went out quite well. The Louisville signal-caller threw for over 400 yards and three scores in the Cardinals’ 36-9 rout of Miami. I think Bridgewater’s decision is an easy one and will be made even easier if his head coach, Charlie Strong, takes the top job at Texas as some think he will.

In my opinion, Bridgewater is the top QB that would be coming out this year. His accuracy is outstanding and his decision-making is very good as well. While I’m not sure if his overall game equates to being the number one guy on a team’s draft board, that doesn’t matter. Houston has the number one pick and a need at quarterback. Stay tuned.

Did anyone else find the NBA’s t-shirt style jerseys on Christmas Day to be as horrendous as I did? I felt like I was watching a European handball match rather than an NBA game. Selling gear is a top priority for any league but if you show up at the courts wearing one of those be prepared to be laughed back to the bench.