This Week in Sports: Love to Vin Scully, Hate to Pete Carroll, and the Damn Patriots Still Can't Lose!

Baaaaad day for South Carolina State

As if a 59-0 loss isn’t bad enough – South Carolina State took it one step further by literally handing 7 of those points to Clemson. Clemson was the heavy favorite over South Carolina in last Saturday’s college football matchup. However, I’m not sure anyone expected the blowout that occurred.

With Clemson up 14-0 part way into the first quarter, SC State return man Ahmaad Harris had a brief lapse in judgment. He caught the ball in the end zone, did not kneel, and then tossed the ball (a very live ball, mind you) to the referee. At that moment he snapped back into reality and realized what he’d done. Harris dove for the ball along with a number of Clemson players, but unfortunately for him, the ball came up in the hands of the Tigers. Yeah… big ole TD for the Tigers. Ouch.

I haaaaaate Pete Carroll.

If you saw me on the street and quickly said “Hey, Morgan. Who do you hate the most?” I would respond “Pete Carroll” every time. Seriously though.  Donald Trump? Hate. Tyler Hansbrough (UNC anyone??) Hate. That bitchy EpiPen CEO Lady? Haaaate. Hitler? Yeah, duh. Hate. But the one person I cannot stand more than any human who has ever lived? PETE. CARROLL.

I know this sounds dramatic. But I’m not kidding. Watching this week’s Rams v. Seahawks game (Sidenote: Wooooo! Rams!!!) I got legitimately fired up talking about my hate for Pete Carroll. I could actually feel my temperature rising just looking at him. It’s something I’m very aware of but I just can’t stop it from happening. And to be totally honest with you, I’m not sure I need it to stop, because I know I’m not alone in my distaste for Carroll.

Let’s start with USC Pete Carroll. Pete was the coach of the USC Trojans while Reggie Bush was in college. When scandal erupted at USC regarding Bush, Carroll denied any knowledge of the over $300,000 loans, houses in Malibu, fancy cars, and other improper “gifts” that Bush received while playing for USC. Just as sanctions were set to be imposed on USC, Carroll ghosted. He left USC, his “dream job,” high and dry at the first chance he got.

After leaving USC (a team that is incredibly easy to hate) Carroll joined the Seattle Seahawks (a team even easier to hate). Carroll was hired as the Seahawks head coach in 2010. Since then, Carroll and the Seahawks have been penalized a number of times for violating NFL rules. Four years ago the NFL took away OTA practices and imposed an undisclosed fine against the Seahawks for violations of offseason contact rules. Two years ago, Carroll and the Seahawks were fined more than $300,000 and had practices stripped away for similar violations. Just this week the Seahawks and their smug coach were disciplined for yet again violating NFL offseason rules. The Seahawks were fined $400,000 and stripped of a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft. The team will also lose the first week of team activities in 2017. Carroll was personally fined $200,000 this time as well. You’d think that a coach with repeated NFL sanctions, particularly one with ties to some of the harshest sanctions in NCAA history, would get a bit of a bad rap, but Carroll seems to do just what his team does – skate by with no consequences.

And as if all of this isn’t enough to make you dislike Pete Carroll – he literally acts like a damn five-year-old on the sidelines. He jumps up and down EVERY time a call goes against Seattle. He gets in the refs face EVERY time they make a call he disagrees with. This week, he threw so many tantrums I had to begin capturing them for my friends’ Snapchat viewing pleasure. Not only did he throw his headset on the ground and continue to stomp around with it dragging from his waistband, he nearly knocked his own player to the ground while trying to storm out onto the field and get in the referee’s face.  Watching Pete Carroll on the sidelines honestly reminds me of being a 13-year old babysitter trying to discipline actual five year olds throwing tantrums because they didn’t want chicken nuggets for lunch or because their sister took their Barbie doll.

Seriously. Look at this grown man.

AARRRGHHH! I am so frustrated. Just typing my thoughts about Pete Carroll has me all riled up again. My fingers almost hurt I’m hitting my keyboard so hard. My heart is legitimately beating a million times per minute right now (I say “legitimately” but I’m pretty sure “a million times per minute” isn’t possible. I mean, I’m a lawyer not a doctor… but you get the point nonetheless).

Time to take a breather and move on to a happier note.

So long Vin Scully

I know we haven’t talked baseball much in this year’s blog reincarnation. That’s not to say I don’t follow baseball… it’s just been overshadowed by my excitement for football’s return this year. With that said, even when I’m not “following” baseball so close, I am always following Dodger baseball. With Dodger Baseball comes longtime announcer Vin Scully. Unfortunately, the final days of Vin’s career are upon us. Vin Scully will call his final game in Dodger Stadium this Sunday, September 25th.

Vin’s sixty-seven (yes. SIXTY SEVEN) seasons with the Dodgers are the longest time any broadcaster has been with a single team in professional sports history. Vin’s signature introduction is known by many and will be missed by all: “It's time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good (afternoon/evening) to you, wherever you may be.”

If you’re a fan of heartfelt sentiments and long-winded stories from old-timers that you don’t know, punch Vin’s name into Google and check out the many, many, many tributes to him from across the world of sports.

Baseball Playoff Picture

Writing about Vin has made me realize how little we’ve talked baseball. Before diving much deeper, let me tell you this. I like baseball. I generally understand the game of baseball. However, my baseball knowledge does not compare to my knowledge of other sports, so please don’t go into this thinking I’m any sort of baseball expert. With that, here’s a quick update on the status of baseball right now.

So if you’re new to baseball, MLB playoffs begin after the 162-game season, which typically occurs in the first week of October. Playoffs consist of 10 teams – five each from the American and National Leagues. Each league has three division champions and two wild card teams. As the playoffs approach, so begins the talk of each team’s “magic number” and just what each team needs to do to clinch a playoff berth.

A magic number is the total number of additional wins by the first-place team or losses by the trailing teams (or any combo thereof) after which it is mathematically impossible for the trailing teams to surpass the first-place team. Yeah, baseball is all about math. As I’ve said for the past three years: “I went to law school not math school for a reason.” But luckily for me, and you, these magic numbers are all over ESPN. So here’s where each team stands headed into the last full week of September.

AL East: First-place team = Redsox

Magic Number to eliminate:

-        Blue Jays = 6

-        Orioles = 5

-        Yankees = 3

-        Rays = eliminated

AL Central: First-place team = Indians

Magic Number to eliminate:

-        Tigers = 5

-        Royals = eliminated

-        White Sox = eliminated (DUH)

-        Twins = eliminated

AL West: First-place team = Rangers

Magic Number to eliminate:

-        Astros = 2

-        Mariners = 1

-        A’s = eliminated

-        Angels = eliminated

NL East: First-place team = Nationals

Magic Number to eliminate:

-        Mets = 2

-        Marlins = eliminated

-        Phillies = eliminated

-        Braves = eliminated

NL Central: First-place team = Cubs

Cubs have clinched their division and thus have no Magic Number!

NL West: First-place team = Dodgers (WOOO!!!!)

Magic Number to eliminate:

-        Giants = 5

-        Rockies = eliminated

-        Diamondbacks = eliminated

-        Padres = eliminated

 

So basically, long story short, a lot can still happen in the next few weeks. If your brain hasn’t had enough math yet, or if you’re super into detailed graphs – check out these MLB Postseason Projections HERE.

Indiana Fever Kneel for Anthem

Talking with friends, well, one friend, who doesn’t exactly like sports, but reads this blog out of friendship guilt, it became apparent that not only have I not talked much about baseball, but I’ve done a pretty terrible job of talking about women in sports too. Now, don’t get me wrong, I too find it incredibly painful to watch WNBA games – but I absolutely think there is a place for women in sports, and a place for female athletes in this blog. I’ll do my best in future weeks to include some fabulous ladies in my weekly recaps. And I’ll start that trend right here.

This week, the entire Indiana Fever roster knelt in unison during the national anthem. The Fever were facing the Phoenix Mercury in a win-or-go-home playoff game in Indianapolis on Wednesday when the team made their pregame plans. No one outside of the locker room knew of their planned protest, including their coach Stephanie White. After kneeling for the anthem and returning to the bench, coach White, though surprised by the move, told her team that she was proud of them.

As you well know from previous posts on theblowhard.com, previous posts written by myself, and from every form of social media or newspaper out there, unless you live under a rock, Colin Kaepernick first sat down in protest on August 26th and has received support from athletes and coaches across all sports. The Indiana Fever’s protest is the first time an entire team has knelt for the anthem.  

So long Adrian Peterson

The poor Minnesota Vikings just can’t catch a break. After losing their starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, earlier this season, Vikings fans rallied around long-time team savior (Purple Jesus if you will) Adrian Peterson. But, savior-no-more. Peterson left this past Sunday’s game against the Packers with an injury. Peterson has since undergone surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his right knee. Reports on Peterson’s expected recovery time have been all over the place. The Vikings organization initially reported that Peterson would miss only 3-4 weeks. However, current reports state that Peterson will likely be out through December, posing questions of a possible playoff return if the Vikings were to be so lucky.

In the meantime, the Vikings are likely to call on other veteran RBs Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. Additionally, the Vikings signed former Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman on Tuesday of this week. Though, it’s not likely the Vikes will be able to work Hillman in for a couple of weeks. Alas, the fate of Vikings fans everywhere lies in the hands of this goofy guy:

 Good Luck, Vikes. I've had my faith in Sammy B before... and we'll say it didn't end so well. 

Good Luck, Vikes. I've had my faith in Sammy B before... and we'll say it didn't end so well. 

THE DAMN PATRIOTS CANNOT LOSE.

Quarterback #1 Jacoby Brissett. Quarterback #2 Julian Edelman. Jacoby Brissett? Never heard of him. Julian Edelman? Wide Receiver – yes. Quarterback – No. This is what the Patriots were operating with when they entered the game against the 2-0 Houston Texans last night. Nearly all pre-game analysis favored the Texans. The only positive note for the Patriots prior to Thursday’s game was the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Well, no worries Patriots. Somehow, with a rookie QB at the helm, the Patriots shut out the Texans 27-0. You guys, this game was so easy for the Pats that LeGarrette Blount stopped for a photo-op on the sidelines DURING THE GAME.

Also happening in last night’s game – the worst Bill outfit yet! Can we please talk about Bill Belichick’s fashion choices?

I mean, Bill’s choices have never been great…

He’s become known for the cut-off hoodie. But this week his fashion choices, and his sleeve-length, hit an all-time low.

Seriously. What the hell is this??

One last fashion issue.

While we’re talking fashion, it seems almost necessary to bring up the team who continues to have the flashiest uniforms season after season. You’d think that nothing the Oregon Ducks could do to a uniform would come as a surprise. But, in the interest of not letting us down, the Ducks have officially done it all. This week, the Oregon Ducks uniforms will be actual ducks. Orange facemask/beak, green upper body, white lower body, orange feet and all.  

ACTUAL. DUCKS.
What will they do next?