Sunday Morning Coffee — April 4, 2021 — Thinking Out Loud

April 4, 2021 Observations 12 Comments

A whole bunch of things we are thinking about with our Sunday morning coffee today not the least of which is wishing everyone who celebrates a very happy Easter. And if you’re anxiously awaiting the end of Passover, enjoy your everything bagel smeared with cream cheese.

Step aside Major League Baseball, this is Masters week. In Georgia. No outside pressure will ever change that.

I like the guy. I really do. But this week’s news that the details and the cause of his car accident will remain sealed for HIPAA privacy, and the speculation that it conjures, how much longer will our adoration of Tiger Woods continue?

With this week’s NFL announcement that for the first time in over 40 years the league is expanding the regular season from 16 to 17 games, the only ones happier than football fans  are the backbone of the 32 franchises: the season ticket holders. Nothing, except maybe paying for express shipping on the Ever Given, is more worthless than being forced to buy NFL exhibition game tickets. Every team includes them in their season pricing and every season ticket holder is forced to buy eight regular season and two pre-season games meaning 20% of the home games of the subscription package become worthless. The veteran players hate pre-season games and looking at pre-pandemic empty stadiums, so do the fans. And the ticket resale market reflects the lack of value. Want to see an NFL game for $10? You can do it in the pre-season. Only the owners, with guaranteed revenue, love it. Now with the additional regular season game, the two conferences, NFC and AFC, will host the extra game in alternate years. This season AFC season ticket holders will get nine regular season and only one exhibition game. Next year the formula switches so AFC teams are back to hosting two pre-season games and only eight regular season games. Every other year ticket holders go from two worthless games to only one while enhancing their regular season ticket portfolio by 10%.

One consequence of a 17-game regular season, followed by three playoff games to win the Super Bowl, is that it virtually assures the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished 17-0 (14 regular season; three playoff games), will be the last undefeated NFL team. There’s too much parity now for any team to reel off 20 wins in a row.

The last time college basketball saw perfection was in 1976 when Indiana went 32-0.  Gonzaga, with a win Monday night, can equal that mark.  The Zags opened as a five point favorite over Baylor.  I hope they get it done.

Who’s old enough to remember when the two Final Four losers played a consolation game for third place right before the championship game?

No matter who wins the tournament, Gonzaga or Baylor, it will be the first NCAA basketball championship for the winner. When Virginia won in 2019, the last tournament played, it was also their first. On the other hand, if you don’t think college football championships lately are the same-old, same-old, consider it’s been 21 years since a school won its first ever title. That was Florida in 1996.

I love this one. Not that the U.S. Postal Service isn’t maligned enough, but now they bring it upon themselves. Just when you thought USPS mail delivery couldn’t get any slower, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced two weeks ago oh yes it can. Instead of promising first-class mail delivery would be one to three days, new postal standards say count on it in one to five days. Sure as shootin’ we can expect a rate hike to help slow things down.

I’ve seen all the video of the January 6th Capitol riots that I really care to. What I haven’t seen, which I’d really like to, is film of the intruders who were “hugging and kissing the police and guards” that Mr. Trump recently told us happened.

I thought the WWE was rigged until I watched the Biden press conference.

Here’s a true story: A woman ordered a dozen COVID masks online, but the company only sent her 12. She called and complained. She said it was totally “unacceptable.” To make good they sent her 12 more. They should have sent a dozen.

If you’re a golfer come on and admit it. The sense of satisfaction you got when Bryson DeChambeau hit a drive during last month’s Players Tournament that didn’t make it past the ladies’ tees. I sat there and said, “I can do that.” And in fact I have. Often.

All of a sudden I’ve started to get a flurry of junk email in Spanish. At least I think it’s junk. To make it worse, I don’t know if the tab I’m hitting is to unsubscribe or send more.

Sister Jean, the 101-year-old chaplain and off-the-court mascot of the Loyola-Chicago men’s basketball program was born on August 21, 1919, the same day 24-year-old Babe Ruth tripled with two RBI for the Red Sox.

You probably knew this, but I had no idea Ringo Starr’s brother-in-law is Joe Walsh of the Eagles.

If you don’t think time flies, think how often you take the trash bins out to the curb.

All of us UMiami alums were saddened to hear of the passing of football coach Howard Schnellenberger at age 87. In only four years, the gravelly voiced, gruff, pipe smoking offensive genius rescued the Hurricanes from being scheduled as a homecoming opponent on the verge of program extinction to 1983 national champions. Coach made a decision to recruit the state of Florida and he eventually owned it, enticing kids away from Florida and Florida State making The U the place to play. It worked. We need some of that magic back again.

 

Some raffle ticket holder was flying high hitting paydirt with item #5.

If you don’t think times are a changin’ consider the Las Vegas golf club that offered a gift basket of ‘Nevada Made Marijuana’ as a raffle item in a local tournament last month.

The most traded player in NBA history? That dubious honor belongs to Treva Ariza who, on March 17th, was traded for the 11th time in his 16 seasons in the league. The old record was eight held by Dale Ellis. Ariza, who never should unpack dishes and silverware, has been traded five times since January 2020 alone. What goes around comes around. Ariza, 35, is presently with the Miami Heat, playing in the city where he was born. However, that might have changed by now.

I was never a big Marvelous Marvin Hagler guy but still sad to learn of his passing on March 13th at the rather young age of 66. Back in the 1980s, the middleweight division was maybe the best in the history of boxing: Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Vito Antuofermo, Wilford Scypion, Alan Minter, Bobby Czyz. I’m not sure it ever got any better than that.

Remember The National, the daily sports newspaper that debuted in 1990 and died 18 months later? Today’s online version is The Athletic and it’s very good. Packed with information and great writing. Hope it lasts.

Here’s an easy one. What state, by percentage, has the largest senior population of 65 and over? Florida, right? Nope. How about Maine.

I’m not sure why this bothers me, but I don’t know the rules of croquet.

I pondered for a long time what to do with my season-long over/under baseball bet this season before settling on taking Cincinnati under 81.5 wins. Their 2020 ace, Trevor Bauer who won the Cy Young Award last year, is now pitching for the Dodgers. With Milwaukee, St. Louis and the Cubs in the same division I don’t think the Reds will play .500 ball. So far through the first two games of the season Cincy has split, putting them right on the number.

 

A baseball photo gem: Clemente, Mays and Aaron.

On opening weekend of the baseball season, how terrific is that picture of Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, the three best National League outfielders of the 1960s, in their skivvies? It was taken at either an All-Star game, presumably not in Atlanta, or a slumber party.

We are starting to think about travel again; that’s a very good thing. Time to take trips and not chances with your health and safety. Let a Medjet membership (medjet.com), now with COVID protection in North America and the Caribbean, keep your mind at ease.

Something that’s never been said before: According to Vegas sportbooks the Nets are favored to win the NBA title.

Firefly Lane on Netflix is an acquired taste, but we really liked it.

Becoming a Major League Baseball player is a tough gig. Only 10% of the guys playing in the minor leagues ever make it to The Show.

I’ve been watching hockey for a long, long time. The biggest change in the sport is not the speed or the physicality, though over the years both have progressed dramatically, but the pinpoint passing. What used to be an accident has become an art.

It’s not personal but if I don’t see Dr. Fauci anymore I wouldn’t be upset.

Finally, since we were kids, the one song we heard every week or month of our lives was the Star Spangled Banner. Do me a favor, right now, and sing it. Let me know how far you get.

12 Comments

  • Ken Rich says:

    All true as always! Thanks for keeping it real.

  • George Howard says:

    Don’t bet me on the Star Spangled Banner!

  • Kevin Kubala says:

    Not only was DeChambeau’s tee shot satisfying to watch, so was Mickelson’s 10 on the Par 5 18th at the Valero Texas Open. We all could, and have done that. In case you missed it……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esCwsyXu7bA

  • Mike Carlson says:

    Whew, what a relief.
    “The Waiting Room” has moved to Maine.
    Thanks Roy, Good Health and Happiness

  • Mat Whatley says:

    Thanks for another great “Cup”!
    Always fun to read! I’d buy plenty of those raffle tickets…if the chances at dinner for two at the Red Rock Country Club were actually possible!! You and Andi would have to join! Have a great week!

  • Carla Reich says:

    I heard Crackpipe Hunter has the video in question on a lap top that he left somewhere…. 😜 Miss you two!

  • Roy Abrams says:

    This blog is your best. You are now the “eclectic “ man. Just great stuff. National Anthem…flawless…like Cornell “pipes”. You Vegas hockey fans get it.

    Put some extra cheese on that Berger “.

  • Lew Matusow says:

    Another great blog….enjoy your first smear. Too funny (and too true). Know anyone I can donate four boxes of Yehuda matzoh to?

  • david says:

    Great job. Not only am I old enough to remember consolation games in the final four but I remember when Wichita State got beat by UCLA in the semi’s and then Princeton with Bill Bradley in the consolation game (1965). Sad to say, both were blow outs….but (fill in the blank)

  • Tom says:

    Roy,
    Great job again. My favorite part is how you were able to slip in the advertisement for MedJet as almost a subliminal message. I’m ready to travel!!!!

  • Ted says:

    Roy, nobody really knows how Louis DeJoy scored the gig as Postmaster General since he had ZERO experience with the USPS! He also unveiled a 10-year plan to improve the postal service. Sounds like one of Stalin’s five-year plans in the former USSR, but twice as good!

  • Wade Binford says:

    The first time my wife filled out an office ncaa pool in the late 90’s, she thought Gonzaga was a joke and complained about it. Now Jimmy Kimmel still thinks it does not exist and jokes about it every night.

    Consolidation game- Bill Bradley 58 points

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