LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday … there’s never a bad time to muse, especially with basketball about to join football and baseball on the sports talk circuit.
I’ll continue to park the Monday Muse on Tuesday as long as so much football news spills into the Monday news cycle. It just gives me an extra day to collect more nuggets.
1. Teddy Time
Not many college programs have two former quarterbacks starting in the NFL. Louisville moved to that tier over the weekend.
Drew Brees went down in New Orleans. Teddy Bridgewater moved in, joining Lamar Jackson in holding one of the 32 most exclusive jobs in sports.
With Jackson and Bridgewater, Louisville is one of four programs that should have two former players starting in the NFL this weekend.
Oklahoma — Baker Mayfield, Cleveland and Kyler Murray, Arizona.
California — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay and Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams.
North Carolina State — Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers and Jacoby Brissett, North Carolina State.
If you’re looking for a tiebreaker, I’ll go with the Wolfpack because the Seahawks Russell Wilson played most of his career in Raleigh before transferring to Wisconsin for his senior season.
The spotlight will be bright and occasionally harsh on Bridgewater. The Saints have Super Bowl aspirations. Bridgewater was not impressive against the Rams on Sunday. Critics are already chirping that he’s not The Answer and the Saints will have to find somebody else until Brees returns.
Others argue for more time. Give New Orleans coach Sean Payton a complete week of preparation so he can adjust the offense to Bridgewater’s strengths, which appear to be shorter routes.
Sean Payton supported QB Teddy Bridgewater despite his ineffective performance. Said he was ready to go, called him a pro. Said he was disappointed with the play around him. Doesn’t sound like there will be any QB controversy if Brees can’t play.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) September 15, 2019
For Bridgewater, the challenge will be considerable. New Orleans returns to the road at unbeaten Seattle Sunday.
2. Zion Williamson: More Reason to Slobber
Zion Williamson is a terrific basketball player. He didn’t carry Duke to the Final Four but he found a way to get himself on ESPN every 15 minutes.
ESPN knows what you like to watch. ESPN determined you liked to watch Zion Williamson.
I’m guessing you like to read about Zion Williamson. Especially when he does wild stuff like this.
Zion broke the golf club! Zion is that dude pic.twitter.com/rhgEMU7CTT— Weston Blasi (@westonblasi) September 13, 2019
3. The Best Jim Boeheim Story
College basketball will be back in the news in a big way soon. We’re several weeks from the conference media day circuit.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference, that means Mike Krzyzewski, Tony Bennett, Roy Williams, Chris Mack and Jim Boeheim.
The world had heard little from Boeheim since the tragic end to last season. The Syracuse coach was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a man who was standing outside his vehicle and hit by Boeheim while the coach drove home from a Syracuse game.
Boeheim has always had an interesting relationship with the media. He’s more accessible than many coaches but can also be more difficult. He's said little since the accident.
Boeheim granted his first major post-accident interview to Tom Chiarella of Esquire magazine It’s worth your time. (The link.)
4. Terry Rozier, You’re On the Clock
Trading places doesn’t just happen in movies. The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets worked out a similar move with guards Kemba Walker and Terry Rozier.
As a free agent, Walker was ready to escape the perpetual losing in Charlotte. He’s the guy that the Celtics acquired to replace Kyrie Irving and help Brad Stevens get his mojo going again.
When the Hornets needed somebody to replace the 25.6 points per game that Walker scored, they looked to Boston and worked out a sign and trade for former Louisville star Terry Rozier.
Rozier never averaged 25.6 points for the Celtics. His career high in Boston was 11.3 in 2018. Rozier has also never shot better than 39.5 percent as a pro.
The Hornets expect more. Much more.
Terry Rozier, this is your moment.
5. Another List To Fuss About
You like lists. I like lists. Internet search engines like lists. Who doesn’t like lists?
Here is one you can fuss about during your next tailgate: What are the 10 most powerful programs in college football?
Paul Myerberg of USA Today crafted his list. Before I looked at his choices, I picked my 10 schools. (The story link.)
Here was Myerberg’s list: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU, Southern California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Notre Dame.
We agreed on eight. I had Michigan and Auburn. He had USC and Florida.
What say you?
6. Notre Dame Between The Hedges
Louisville-Florida State, Kentucky-Mississippi State and Connecticut-Indiana are the primary local games on the college football schedule this weekend but the game that I want to see is Notre Dame’s first trip to Georgia to play Kirby Smart’s dynamic team in Athens Saturday night.
You could call it a playoff elimination game, especially for the Irish (2-0). They have a growing collection of doubters after their uninspired performance against Louisville in the season opener as well as their 30-3 beatdown defeat against Clemson in the playoffs last season.
Paul Newberry of the Associated Press filed a solid look at the game. A check at StubHub.com showed that tickets at the sixth level of Sanford Stadium start at more than $280, with somebody asking more than $3,000 for lower level sideline seats.
I believe I’ll watch from home.
7. The Best David Ortiz Story
David Ortiz has not sat for many interviews since he was nearly assassinated in the Dominican Republic earlier this summer.
He nearly died. There have been conflicting stories about whether Ortiz was targeted or took bullets that were actually intended for another man. Even Ortiz says that he wants answers.
Until Ortiz appeared at a Red Sox game last week to throw out the first pitch, I wondered if we were going to see him at Fenway Park this season.
If you’re interested in his story and recovery, Ortiz answered several important questions in this interview.
David Ortiz remembers the moment he was shot. “I felt like a burning sensation,” he said. “I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down.” https://t.co/vbbZ6W0ZBL— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 15, 2019
Good to see the guy who changed the arc of success of baseball in New England back on the field.
8. Best Baseball Moment This Week
Trust me when I tell you that Carl Yastrzemski was one of my favorite Old School baseball players — and Yaz did not play for the White Sox.
Handled left field with precision for years for the Boston Red Sox. Knew every dent in the Green Monster at Fenway Park. Dared runners to challenge his accurate arm.
If you were a left-handed hitter, you practice cocking and waving the bat high, Yaz-Style, and then taking a vicious rip. His 1967 Triple Crown performance while leading the Red Sox to an improbable American League pennant remains a signature moment in New England baseball.
That’s why this weekend will be so wonderful in Fenway Park, even though the Red Sox are not bound for the post-season.
Yastrzemski’s grandson, Mike, plays for the San Francisco Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy said he will play the younger Yaz in the outfield for all three games in Fenway.
Hopefully, he can pepper the wall and entertain his grandfather. (The story link.)
9. Baseball Power Ratings
1. Houston Astros — When I finally make my first trip to Southern Indiana to wager on baseball’s post-season, my money will be on the team with the best starting pitching.
2. New York Yankees — Aaron Boone’s team is getting healthy for October — and nobody worries about their ability to score runs.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers — They should be able to hold their four-game advantage over the Braves for home-field.
4. Atlanta Braves — Best road record in the National League.
5. Minnesota Twins — The Indians are not going to catch Rocco Baldelli’s team.
10. Tweet of the Week
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