IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: LaVar’s bad behavior; US basks in Gold Cup victory
LAVAR BALL BAD FOR SPORTS: Yahoo! Sports exclaims, “LaVar Ball is a maniac. An absolute maniac.” He brings his road show to an Adidas AAU event in Las Vegas. After his second well-deserved technical, he demands a female referee be replaced. Adidas actually complies. Ball refuses to leave. His team is in disarray. He is abusive and finally forfeits the game. Yahoo! Sports concludes, “It was ugly. It was embarrassing.” Terrible bullyism.
THE AFTERGLOW: The U.S. men’s soccer team gets it done in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Finals win vs. Jamaica seals the deal. New coach Bruce Arenas has yet to lose a match. A late goal in the championship game by Jordan Morris, who had an excellent tournament, seals it. It is a big boost for the USA in men’s soccer. Let’s see if they can carry some of it into the World Cup next year.
COUSINS SAYS IT IS TIME: DeMarcus Cousins stays in the news. How will his first full season for the New Orleans Pelicans play out? Will his surly game evolve? He claims that Anthony Davis is the perfect partner to shock the NBA. “I think the game is actually playing into our hands,” he states. However, his future remains shrouded in uncertainty. With free agency looming, executives across the league will carefully monitor performance and behavior.
A LOOK AT THE NFL: Most predictions point to the New England Patriots as the power to beat in 2017. Some say they will go 19-0. The oddsmakers have them at 2-to-1 to win it all. Very high. From there, it is Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and maybe Green Bay. What it does not account for is injuries. Tom Brady is crucial for a successful run. Then what can Aaron Rodgers do? However, sometimes these predictions are a flop. It will make for a great campaign.
GRUDEN WANTS BACK INTO COACHING: He has a great gig at ESPN. He is paid well and does not have to endure the pace of everyday coaching. However, it is not enough. Jon Gruden wants back into the NFL. “I am preparing myself to come back. I am every day. I am preparing to come back,” he states. He enjoys his role, but it looks like coaching is, plain-and-simple, in his blood.
KAEPERNICK UPRISING: Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh expresses real interest in Colin Kaepernick after Joe Flacco experiences worrisome back problems. The response by fans is immediate and compelling. They are non-supportive. The Ravens have heard from, “numerous fans regarding Kaepernick in the last couple of days, many staunchly opposed to his signing,” states Mike Silver of NFL Media. The big question is whether the Ravens ignore it and possibly face a fan uprising.
O.J. NOT WELCOMED: USC makes it clear — O.J. Simpson will not be welcomed to any events. The former star is literally banned from anything connected to the University. With his release from prison now scheduled for October, this may be the first of many institutions standing up against him. He will, however, be welcomed to NFL Hall of Fame events. Let’s just hope he lays low and enjoys his newfound freedom.
BULLPEN WOES: Monday’s A’s/Giants game was a good indication as to why the Giants are toiling through a dismal season. Matt Cain weaves his way through five innings with the Giants leading, 3-2. Enter the bullpen. In the 6th, Josh Osich and George Kontos combine to surrender a grand slam. In the 8th, Kyle Crick and Hunter Strickland combine to give up 2 runs and seal the deal for the A’s. Final score- 8-3. It is a wonder Bruce Bochy has any hair left.
JUST PLAIN POOR JUDGEMENT?: University of Central Florida kicker Donald De La Haye is dismissed from the team because he will not stop profiting from his YouTube channel. He is given the choice to desist or lose his scholarship. He refuses to stop and lets it all slip away. Now begging for donations so he can continue his education. Maybe he needs to major in Business.
FINAL THOUGHT: Michael Jordan dismisses LaVar Ball by saying, “He couldn’t beat me if I was one-legged.” Great and accurate quote.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Grass Valley native Brad Sweet drove past the competition and into victory lane last week, snapping his longest winless streak of the season.