This Week in Sports: Dak Is #1 in Dallas, Not Every Cleveland Team Sucks, and the NBA Is Back!

Romo v. Prescott – will Jerry Jones screw the Cowboys?

As of today it looks like Jerry Jones has picked the rookie Dak Prescott over his longtime lover Tony Romo—for now anyway. The Cowboys are a surprising 5-1 with the rookie at the helm. Of course, Dak is only starting because Tony suffered yet another injury to his back at the start of the season. It’s a conundrum that no one thought the Cowboys could possibly be in: having two quarterbacks both worthy of a starting position? What a problem to have.

While I am absolutely on the Dak Prescott train right now, I can’t help but feel a little bit bad for Tony Romo. Sure Romo is near the end of his career, but I don’t think anyone would have said that this season would be the end. Romo certainly has a season or two left before his age and weak bones will likely catch up to him, but, looking at the Cowboys' big picture, to me there is just no way that Tony Romo gets back out on the field. Did Tony do anything to deserve to be benched? No. Has Dak done anything to deserve to be benched? Also no. But unfortunately in all of the rules that the NFL has changed over the years, starting more than one quarterback still remains against the rules.

So are the Cowboys really Dak’s team now? I think they are, and I think they should be. I also think it’s awfully early in his career to compare Dak to Tom Brady, but I can’t help but feel like Tony and Drew Bledsoe have a whole lot in common right now.

Shadiest guy in the NFL?

You might remember Vontaze Burfict for his aggressive hits during the Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff loss to the Pittsburg Steelers last season. The hits resulted in Burfict being suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season. This week, Burfict is back in the spotlight after some dirty hits on New England Patriots’ tight end Martellus Bennett (yes, the one who called the Bears bitches last week. Ahem *KARMA*). The NFL has fined Burfict $75,000 for this week’s hits.

In what I find to be quite the ironic change of events, ex-Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has come out in opposition to Burfict’s shady style of play. Mind you, Ray Lewis was accused of MURDERING someone while in the NFL. So hearing Ray Lewis criticize another player for their actions is irony at its finest to me.

Nonetheless, Lewis said this week that he thinks Burfict may be on his way out of the NFL if he doesn’t clean up his act. He did make a good point when he said that “this guy is only known for his antics—as talented as he may be.” And in another ironic twist of people giving professional advice, obnoxious ex-NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe said that Burfict’s antics make him “question Burfict’s ability.”

Burfict certainly isn’t the only guy getting penalized for questionable hits, but he seems to be making a name for himself, and it’s not a name that I’m sure many teams will be calling anytime soon. We’ll have to keep our eye on Burfict’s status with the league as the season continues.

I LOVE SAPPY PROPOSAL VIDEOS!

So this is reeeeeally minimally sports related, but any excuse to include a proposal video in this blog is good enough for me.

Samford University linebacker Deion Pierre had quite a weekend. Samford beat Virginia Military Institute 55-21 in which Pierre had a pick six, and after the game Pierre scored even more! I’m not going to lay out the scene here because I don’t want to ruin how seriously great this man’s friends are (and particularly how great of dancers the Samford players are) so check it out for yourself.

I also appreciate that after orchestrating this big elaborate proposal all Pierre said was “will you marry me?”—no sweet words, no loving tribute, just a bunch of dudes in pads dancing in a circle and a quick 5 second marriage proposal.

The NBA is back!!

I’m going to be honest and tell you that the NBA season has totally snuck up on me. I’ll also tell you that I’m just not quite ready to invest my time into the NBA yet. This is largely due to the fact that the Dodgers are still in the hunt for the World Series trophy which has consumed all of my attention, partially due to the fact that I just got a new job that I am sooooo excited for, and realistically partially due to the fact that the Lakers were terrrrrrible last year and I’m just not ready to be let down by them yet. But, nonetheless, basketball is officially back on October 25th.

I haven’t watched many preseason games, and I haven’t done much research on the odds for each team starting the new season. I did however see the results of the NBA general manager’s annual poll conducted by NBA.com. Both the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers got 97% of the votes cast by GMs when asked to pick the Western and Eastern conference champions—which equates to getting 29 votes out of the 30 teams. Which makes sense, since GMs were not allowed to vote for their own team. So essentially what this means is that EVERY general manager in the NBA expects to yet again see the Cavs and Warriors in the NBA final. Within these predictions, 69% of GMs said that the Warriors will win the 2017 championship and the other 31% said it would be the Cavaliers.

As a fan of the game of basketball I hope that the GMs are far from correct that this is how the season will go. Sure it’s a fun time in basketball if you happen to follow one of these two teams, but as someone on the outside looking in, I’d sure like to see the status quo shaken up a bit. (Yes, I see the irony in typing this as a lifelong Lakers fan. Just roll with me.)

What the hell is happening in Cleveland?

So, I still feel bad for Cleveland because, I mean, it’s Cleveland. As if Ohio isn’t bad enough generally . . . then there is Cleveland. But also, in addition to already sucking, Cleveland has historically had some terrible sports teams. The Cavs, the Indians, and the Browns certainly leave a lot to be desired—or at least they did.

Obviously things have turned around for the Cavaliers since the additions of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and LeBron James. The Cavs took home the NBA championship this past season for the first time in franchise history. This championship ended the “Cleveland Curse” which is said to have started in 1964. Prior to the Cav’s winning season, Cleveland’s three major sports teams had a combined 147-season championship drought. The last Cleveland championship came fifty-two years ago, in 1964, when the Browns beat the Baltimore Colts in the NFL Championship Game (which was sooooo long ago that it wasn’t even called the Super Bowl yet).

Well, the Indians aren’t looking to be out-staged by the Cavaliers. The Indians are currently one series away from ending their own draught and further ending the Cleveland Curse. After sweeping the Red Sox in the ALDS on October 10th, the Indians defeated the Blue Jays four games to one this past Wednesday in the ALCS. This is the Indians’ first World Series appearance since I was just six years old, and it’s their 6th appearance in team history.

Thankfully for those of us who enjoy the hilarity of a terrible team, the Browns are still awful. It’s not totally fair to say “still awful” because believe it or not the Browns were once a decent team. I mean, that was before the existence of the NFC and AFC conferences and before the Super Bowl existed, but technically it still counts I guess. In the current Super Bowl Era, the Browns have made it to the AFC Championship Game a couple of times. However, the Browns remain one of four franchises that have never played in a Super Bowl, along with the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars.

While I’d like to be the optimist that tells you things are looking up for the Cavaliers and Indians and that the Browns would have the same luck, we all know that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Dodgers v. Cubs

So I know Cleveland has really stolen the show with this whole “curse” thing, but the Indians aren’t the true Cinderella of the World Series. Sure it’s been a while since they’ve made a World Series appearance (1997) but it hasn’t been SEVENTY-ONE DAMN YEARS (1945) like it has been for the Chicago Cubs. And that’s just the last time the Cubs were in the World Series. It’s been 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT. That’s a long damn time! In fact, it’s the longest championship drought for any team in the four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL). You guys, this stat is insane, because in actuality, the Cubs drought has been around longer than the other three leagues have even existed.

As of this morning, the Cubs are now just one game away from gaining entry into the World Series. Last night the Cubs defeated the Dodgers 8-4 to take a 3-2 series lead. The Cubs have now claimed games 1, 4, and 5, with the Dodgers winning games 2 and 3. Game 6 is set for Saturday and Game 7 if necessary is set for Sunday. The Dodger’s lover in me prays that Game 7 is necessary, but I also recognize that the team that wins Game 5 goes on to win the series 70% of the time.

Though I’m trying to remain overall optimistic about the Dodger’s chances and I am absolutely that person who says “one play shouldn’t be able to determine a game,” I do have to say I’m still a bit bitter about what I (and Adrian Gonzalez) consider a missed call in Wednesday’s Game 4. With two runners on base, two outs, and a 0-0 score in the second-inning, Adrian Gonzalez dove into home plate on a single from Andrew Toles. Gonzalez was ruled to have been tagged out. He immediately pleaded with the home plate umpire, and the play went under review. The call was upheld, which the Dodgers organization was shocked by, and even Cubs manager Joe Maddon expressed his surprise of the call being upheld.

Adrian Gonzalez tweeted a still image from the play late Wednesday night and captioned the photo “Somehow this is an out.” And I've gotta say I'm on Adrian's team here.

As a sports-watcher I think it is impossible to deny the importance of momentum. I also think it is impossible to deny the momentum-shift that occurred after this call. It was a scoreless game, with the Dodgers up 2-1, just about to score the first points of Game 4. The Gonzalez out signaled the end of the second inning and the end of the Dodgers’ chance to get a lead on the Cubs. The Cubs went on to win this game 10-2 after an explosive fourth inning, and some truly great play by the Cubs team. So I don’t think it’s at all fair to say that the Gonzalez call is the reason the Dodgers’ lost, but as a believer in momentum, there is no denying the role this call played in the Dodgers’ eventual demise.

Rough Thursday for Brian Hoyer.

After nearly twelve hours at work yesterday, getting home close to 9:00 p.m. and deciding it’d be easier to pick up takeout than to make dinner before finally sitting down to blog (and be distracted by baseball), I had thought that I had had a pretty tough day. But, alas it’s in these moments that a little bit of perspective helps . . . or at least the occasional ESPN update helps.

Long dramatic story later, no matter how crappy my Thursday was, at least I didn’t break my arm in the middle of a Thursday Night Football game. Brian Hoyer can’t say the same.

Hey Chicago, I hear Tony Romo might be looking for a job!