Sports

Takin’ on Sports — Weekend Six Pack

Six thoughts about the sports world from the week that was and the weekend ahead.

Welcome once again to the Weekend Six Pack, six thoughts about the week that was and the weekend to come in the sports world.

THE ATLANTA BRAVES ARE YOUR WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS — The Braves are my first sports love. Although vague, some of my earliest memories are from the old Fulton County Stadium, in the late 80s, during the bad years. Dale Murphy might’ve been my first favorite athlete. I had one of those Starting Lineup figures of him, one our dogs chewed it up. I didn’t like the loud noises the after-game fireworks made, so I stayed in my Dad’s truck and watched through the windshield. They won the World Series in ’95, 26 years ago. I was 11. Since then, there’s been Mark Wholers’ hanging slider, Eric Gregg’s strike zone, Brooks Conrad’s errors, the goddamned Infield Fly Rule, Fredi Gonzalez leaving Craig Kimbrel in the pen, the 10-run first inning, the blown 3-1 lead… an endless parade of misery. Hell, even during the golden era of 14 straight division titles, there was only the one Series title. This year started out about as good as last season ended. Marcell Ozuna got hurt and then decided to choke his wife in front of the police. Mike Soroka re-injured his achilles. Ronald Acuña, Jr., in the midst of a MVP-caliber season, tore his ACL. It’s funny, as an Alabama fan during the Saban era, the “problem” is that you lose a bit of that yearning for titles. We’ve been so spoiled with success, it’s easy to — not lose an appreciation for winning, you cherish every title, but you lose that sense of how special they are. That’s what makes this Braves win so damn blissful. All of that waiting, all of those missed chances, all of that pain… it’s gone now. Now, time to re-sign Freddie Freeman and one or two of those outfielders. And, yeah, like I said last week, it’s probably time to change the name.

I think we’ll find out if Alabama is a National Title contender this weekend — Yes, they’re playing a LSU team with a ton of baggage, and they’re favored by four touchdowns. But they struggled in that Tennessee game for 3.25 quarters. They’ve had a bye week to get right. If they come out and handle business — like, really handle business — they’ll temper the talk of a massively flawed team coasting on reputation. If they struggle to put the Tigers away, or look sloppy early… then this probably ain’t a championship team.

One more thought about the CFP rankings — I’ve already given you my reactions to the first CFP rankings of the season, but I do want to reiterate something I’ve talked about in the past: releasing weekly rankings is dumb. The committee can only paint themselves into a corner by releasing weekly rankings. The NCAA Tournament selection committee doesn’t do it. Of course, we all know with about 99.9999999% certainty that this was an ESPN invention. It’s puts eyes on their network, it gives their talking heads something to debate, it gets them clicks on their website. Doesn’t mean it ain’t dumb. Just invent some BCS-like formula and push that on a weekly show. Spare us the dumb narratives. Plus, it makes that selection show the Sunday after conference title game MUST see TV.

Build a statue of Aaron Ramsdale outside of The Emirates Stadium RIGHT NOW — I mean, just watch:

So, Aaron Rodgers is a jackass, ain’t he? — That’s all I got for that one.

Early season NBA thoughts — The Pelicans are much more fun to watch with a healthy Zion Williamson, but at least the youngin’s are getting a lot of experience. Nothing else in the league matters until after the All Star break.

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