This Week in Sports: Throwing Shade to Joe Buck, Love to Penn State, and sooooo much about baseball.

YES!! Penn State!!!

There are teams in every sport that you either love or you hate. There’s just no in between. Yankees? Hate 'em. Lakers? Love 'em. Seahawks? HATE THEM. In college football, one of those teams is Ohio State. You either love 'em or you hate 'em . . . and I just so happen to hate them, which made this week’s Ohio State v. Penn State matchup even better.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Ohio State was ranked #2. Penn State wasn’t ranked at all. No one predicted that Penn State would pull out the upset, but that’s what I love about college football. Now this wasn’t some crazy blowout upset, or even a game that favored Penn State all the way through. It was the best kind of game—one with many lead changes and that ended in perfect crazy fashion.

With just over four minutes left in the game Penn’s Grant Haley returned a blocked field goal 60 yards for a touchdown. Afterwards, Haley said “it’s something you dream about as a kid. Just running to the end zone and falling, it was a huge sigh of relief, like, everything, all the hard work this team’s put in coming into play against the number two team in the country.”

The last time Penn State beat a team ranked in the top five was 1999, and their last victory against a team in the top two was in 1990. But, I have a feeling the hype will be short lived for Penn State. Sure they’ve only suffered two losses, but in college football two losses is as good as ten. Just don’t tell that to Penn State fans . . .

Also, this game is the reason that I learned about ESPNU’s weekly parody video. Not surprisingly, this week they chose to parody Ohio State, and I loved every second of it. Also, as is fitting for how my entire week has gone, I could not figure out how to format their video into this blog, which is fine because now you can look at previous week’s parodies too. So check out ESPNU’s Facebook for the Ohio State parody and more!

 

Joe Buck SUUUCKS.

So, I’m going to be real with you here (UGH. I hate this saying. And I just said it. Like, have I not been real all of the other times? Whatever. It gets my point across. End rant). I fell asleep during Game 2 of the World Series. But the good news is, I woke up just as the game had ended to hear the fans chanting “Joe Buck sucks!!”

There have never been truer words spoken. Trying to find a google clip of the Indians and Cubs fan chanting, I learned just how many people agree with me in this sentiment.

So, as a combination of my own thoughts and some of the thoughts of those across the interwebs, here are some of the reasons Joe Buck sucks.

  1. He has his job because his dad was Jack Buck.
    Joe’s dad Jack was a sportscaster who has been recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, National Radio Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s seems to be a pretty widely accepted idea that Joe wouldn’t have had an opportunity in broadcasting had his dad not come before him.
  2. He is terrible at being unbiased.
    Whether he’s covering baseball, basketball, or football, it is typically apparent within the first five minutes who Joe Buck favors. This was shockingly apparent in Buck’s 2014 World Series coverage and seems to be a big starting point for many people’s hate of Buck.
  3. He’s a douche.
    Sorry Mom, it had to be said. Also I know that calling someone a name doesn’t provide much insight, but it’s so true.
  4. He is soooo boring.
    How does someone actually watch sports and be as boring as Joe Buck is? 99 yard touchdown? Nope. Joe Buck isn’t excited. Blocked kick or crazy tackle? Joe Buck isn’t amused. Grand slam? Pshhh. Lame.
 2014 World Series Fan Hate

2014 World Series Fan Hate

 

But, there is one thing that Joe Buck is better at than anyone else:

 

Josh Brown fiasco.

It’s no secret that the NFL is terrible at handling athletes who are accused or convicted of crimes, particularly domestic violence. In 2014 the NFL implemented a six-game suspension for domestic violence cases, with aggravating circumstances that can increase suspensions and mitigating circumstances that can shorten a suspension. So basically, the NFL made a “harsh” policy with a whole bunch of loop holes.

Interestingly enough, this policy didn’t seem to be used at all in the current Josh Brown situation. Brown was arrested in May 2015 and charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault. During the investigation for this arrest, Brown’s journals and emails were turned over to the prosecution. Recently, the Sheriff’s department released these documents to the public and HO. LY. SHIT. In these documents Brown admits to abusing his wife (now ex-wife) Molly. He also referred to himself as “God” and to Molly as his “slave.” He said that he had been physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to his wife. Brown went on to discuss how he manipulated Molly with money and how he has been objectifying women since the age of eight.

Prior to the email release, Giants owner John Mara and head coach Ben McAdoo issued a statement saying that they supported Josh “as a man, a father, and a player.” This was after Brown’s arrest had been made public and after he had been suspended ONE game by the NFL. Immediately following the release of these documents, the Giants declined to comment when questioned about the documents.

Commissioner Roger Goodell took matters into his own hands late last week. Not by implementing the NFL’s newly revamped (and often glorified) domestic violence policy and suspending Brown for six games, but rather by placing Brown on the Commissioner’s exempt list. So while it’s true that Brown wasn’t allowed to travel with the Giants’ team to London, he was still allowed to collect his $1.15 million salary.

On Tuesday of this past week, Brown issued a statement saying “it is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would.” He then went on to say that he was on the road to rehabilitation and that he was working to identify and rectify his behaviors. The Giants ended up cutting Brown from their roster later Tuesday afternoon.

So while I’m happy that someone like Brown isn’t allowed to play in the NFL, this whole ordeal has been seriously frustrating from a policy standpoint. Maybe it’s all of the election talk that’s engulfed our lives for the past few months, or maybe it’s my brain suffering from too much legal analysis, but IT IS SO DAMN FRUSTRATING TO IMPLEMENT POLICIES THAT ARE NOT GOING TO BE ENFORCED. Commissioner Goodell isn’t exactly the most loved person as it is, but I hope that his continued shortcomings in administering consistent and appropriate punishments catch up with him soon.

 

MLB Playoff update

Dodgers Out:

For those of you who follow sports, you know by now that the World Series pits the Cleveland Indians against the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately for me, this means that the Cubs beat the Dodgers. I’ve written in previous blogs about my love for the Dodgers and my optimism that they could get past the Cubs and into the World Series. Alas, I was wrong. However, the Cubs are a very deserving organization, and the Dodgers made it farther than I had predicted at the start of the season long, long ago, so I’m not too upset.

Cubs v. Indians:

Moving on from my Dodgers’ elimination though, I still have some issues with this World Series pairing. Yes, both teams are deserving of a World Series title. Yes, it’s been an eternity since either team has had a shot at the World Series trophy. But, you guys, there is just nothing sexy about a Cubs v. Indians World Series, there just isn’t.

I love reading stories about the life-long Cubs fans who are 95+ years old and who have been rooting for a Cubs victory since the day they were born. I appreciate the idea of underdogs finally rising to the top. But something about this World Series just doesn’t excite me. They might be underdogs, but this doesn’t carry the excitement of a 15 seed beating a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament for me. It’s like if the Browns and the Jags both made the playoffs and were pitted against each other. Do they deserve to be there based on hypothetical records? Yeah. Do I want to watch that game? No, not really.

But, even with this in mind, I have watched the first two games of the Cubs v. Indians World Series. (Yeah . . . I know I said I wasn’t excited to watch it, but this is history in the making—you think I’d miss out on that?) The Indians took Game 1 with a score of 6-0. The Cubs took Game 2 with a 5-1 score. Game 3 is set for tonight, with Games 4 and 5 continuing Saturday and Sunday respectively. If necessary, Game 6 is set for November 1st and Game 7 for November 2nd. One thing is for sure, regardless of how many games it takes, the next time you read this blog there will be a new World Series champ.

Kyle Schwarber:

For the Cubs, the World Series has brought a number of surprises. Among them, the fact that injured left fielder and catcher Kyle Schwarber has been able to play in Games 1 and 2. Schwarber suffered multiple torn ligaments in his knee in early April. He underwent surgery for the injuries and has been rehabbing his knee since. It was presumed that Schwarber’s season was over. However, just 11 days ago, Schwarber was cleared by doctors to hit and run the bases. Unfortunately for the Cubs, as they learned just yesterday, Schwarber has not been cleared for any lateral running, which would be necessary for him to play the outfield.

The issue here for the Cubs is that Schwarber played as a designated hitter in Games 1 and 2, a position that doesn’t require defensive play. But, because of the difference in NL and AL rules, no designated hitters will be allowed in the three games played in Chicago. So, since Schwarber has not been cleared for defensive play, his role in games 3, 4, and 5 will be limited to pinch hitting.

While it’s not the news that Chicago was hoping for, it’s still crazy to be having this conversation considering Schwarber’s first at-bat of the season was during Game 1 of the World Series.

Ticket prices:

As a final note to this week’s MLB update, I thought I’d also let you know that history will be made in Chicago as the most costly games in baseball history. According to StubHub ticketing information, the median price of a ticket for Game 3 is $3,000. The median price for Game 4 is $3,650 and Game 5 is $3,500. According to ESPN yesterday morning, the cheapest tickets to Game 3 listed on StubHub were $2,140 each for two standing-room tickets. The most expensive tickets purchased thus far are two tickets near the Cubs bullpen purchased together for $19,000. You could buy a new car for less money than those seats! WOW.

 

The LAKERS haven’t let me down yet!!

We’re only one game into the Lakers’ season, but I have to say it now before they ruin it for me—the Lakers are undefeated! (While true, I know this is a bit dramatic!) Even without being so obnoxious about it, I really am excited that the Lakers have started the season 1-0 with their win over Houston on Wednesday. It’s the first regular season game in the post-Kobe era. One win doesn’t at all predict how the season will go, but I’m just happy to see winning is still an option in L.A.

 

Silent Night Lights

And last but not least, in the newest installment of “Things That Made Morgan Cry in Sports” is this incredible E:60 segment that I saw for the first time last night on Sportscenter. I can’t even say that it made me cry because it was a typical heart-wrenching sad story that is somehow tied into sports. This E:60, titled Silent Night Lights, is all about this incredible school, California School for the Deaf, Fremont, and their football program composed entirely of deaf players.

It gave me the chills to watch this program. You should check it out too.