IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: XFL off and running; Lots of questions surround Giants
XFL: If you lamented the end of the NFL season, here is the new alternative. The XFL made a positive splash last weekend with all four contests telecast throughout the country. It was a unique experience. The new rules enhanced the game. The hype was positive. The theme, “For the love of the game,” held true. The winning teams received about $2,250 per player. Seattle legend Jim Zorn coaching? All three networks did a positive job. They are off and running. ESPN/ABC’s Steve Levy commented that it was “an afternoon full of fun and football.”
GIANTS: Are there storm clouds on the horizon for San Francisco? What has been done to improve the team? Is there relevance in bringing back Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence? Can the pitching staff deliver? Most importantly, is this team capable of competing? Too many questions and not many answers. Expect a mediocre campaign where they play in the shadows of a ferocious Dodgers squad.
MLB: The Board of Governors now ponder rule and playoff changes. They will look at an expansion of the current playoff scheme to 14 teams. More teams, greater interest and more revenue. They also impose a three-batter minimum rule for all starting and relief pitchers. Let’s speed up the game, they say. Purists oppose changes that may degrade the integrity of the game.
JEREMY ROENICK: The ex-Shark and NHL legend is out at NBC after making highly inappropriate comments on a Barstool podcast. Indeed, JR went beyond norms when he spoke about possible sexual aspects with both Kathryn Tappen and Patrick Sharp, both NBC studio hosts. Roenick is often outspoken and blunt. He has a playful side. However, NBC was left with no option but to dismiss him. He will be back, but it may take an extended period for this is dissipate.
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BUDDY HIELD: The frustration is about to hit the breaking point. Hield is now positioned to come off the bench in support of the Sacramento Kings. This has gone on for several weeks. He is visibly upset about the new scheme. However, it has resulted in Hield scoring 22.2 points per game while shooting nearly 53% from the field. Still, there is discontent and doubt as to whether Coach Luke Walton is doing the right thing. The potential is that Hield may ask for a trade where he can be a starter.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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