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 US Men make the World Cup and draw England in the group stage — Firstly, hooray! The boys make it back after the embarrassing 2018 miss, and are drawn into Group B with England, Iran, and the winner of the Wales vs. Ukraine/Scotland European playoff. That is a winnable group for the energetic Americans. England is the favorite, but I love this draw for the Yanks.
- The NFL finally embraces the “silly season” — For years, club soccer fans have known the joy/chaos/madness of the “silly season” — their off-season transfer window when players switch teams and rumors go wild. The NBA embraced this not too long, realized the off-season roster moves are almost as important as the actual games. The current NFL off-season has been bonkers. Tom Brady retired and un-retired, then Bruce Arians retired. Aaron Rodgers signed a $50m/year contract, then the Browns paid DeShaun Watson even more (and still employ Baker Mayfield). Russ Wilson is now a Bronco. Davante Adams is now a Raider, Tyreek Hill is now a Dolphin. The Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky (hahahahahahahahahahahaha). That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and we haven’t even reached the draft, yet.
- MLB finally figured their shit out — That’s the good news. The bad news is Freddie Freeman is no longer an Atlanta Brave. This is sad, but so it goes in the business. The Braves have in turn added Matt Olson, and built themselves the best bullpen in baseball to defend their crown as WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS.
- The Final Four is this weekend, in case you haven’t heard — Did y’all know that Duke and UNC are playing for the first time in NCAA Tournament history? Did you know Coach K is retiring? DID YOU KNOW ASDFKJLHADSFLKJADHBFKJAHDS?!?!?!? (Duke over Villanova in the title game)
- Club football returns after the international break — Arsenal continue their triumphant march towards the
fourth place trophyChampions League qualification. The Arteta-ssance is in full effect in North London, while Liverpool has raced back into a fight for the title with Man City. Should be a fun spring of soccer before a quiet summer (the World Cup is in the fall this year, remember).
- The NBA enters the home stretch of the regular season — Somehow, my Pelicans are on track to make the Play-In, despite Zion Williamson playing exactly zero games this year. This is in no small part due to actual rookie of the year Herb Jones’ defensive prowess. This is exciting, even if I kinda think the whole Play-In thing is dumb (and I wish the first round was still best-of-5, but I’m weird like that). The Lakers might miss the playoffs all-together, barely clinging to a Play-In spot as of right now. The Suns look like the favorite, but the East is a grinder and whoever emerges will be ready for anything.