Sunday State of Mind: July 26th-August 1st

Photo: 7 Themes

The great thing about sports, is that they just don’t stop. They just keep coming at us week after week. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming, which is why we’re here to recap what went down the past seven days in this week’s SSM.

MLB Trade Deadline, big names on the move
If it’s this season or future ones, teams looking to improve
Some emotional goodbyes, for longtime members of clubs
Perhaps no trades more influential than those of the Cubs

For Reds star Joey Votto, this week was so damn great
Went deep seven games in a row, almost made it eight
They’re in second place this year, have been playing hard
Could sneak into the playoffs, if Joey keeps going yard

Another form of sports transaction, the NBA Draft
Young studs taking the next steps, working on their craft
Hard to guess who will be good, could be anyone
Congrats to all the picks, your pro journeys have begun

Good old Carson Wentz, new Colts quaterback
Hoping for a healthy year, and a big comeback
Hurt his foot at training camp, said he felt a “twinge”
Opting for no surgery, but may have to get the syringe

Native Californian Commits To One Year Contract In Wisconsin

Photo: Packers on Twitter

Tuesday was a big day in the state of Wisconsin. The Door County House and Garden Walk opened for business, gospel group Tribute Quartet held a show at the Fireside Dinner Theatre, and Aaron Rodgers’ private jet landed at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

Reports had been exploding the past 24-48 hours regarding the wide range of possible outcomes in the well-reported beef between the reigning MVP and Packers brass. Would he be traded? Would he hold out? Would he retire? Would the two sides find some type of common ground?

Tuesday, all of our annoying ass questions were answered. Rodgers showed up rocking a pair of sunglasses that can only be assumed were designed by the boys from Daft Punk (RIP). The shirt on the other hand, an all-timer. If you’ve been with us for a while now, you know our feelings on Kevin Malone. Where do you even get a shirt like this? An NBA jam knock off giving a nod to one of the greatest scenes in television history? Have mercy.

According to any reputable NFL source, the consensus seems to be that Rodgers and the Packers have found some level of agreement. The details seem to be a bit hazy at this point, but it sounds like Mr. Discount Double Check will play this season out in Green Bay, and become an unrestricted free agent after this year.

In what seems like the closest thing to a kumbaya moment for the time being between the two sides; there are some funny things to outline here. Is this not going to super awkward all year? Are Packer fans (or would any fans) honestly be cool with watching their boy ball out all year, knowing in the back of their heads he really doesn’t want to be there? Also, apparently one of Rodgers demands was that the Packers go out and get a wide receiver. Totally acceptable demand, right? For a team that hasn’t given one of, if not the best quarterback in the last 20 years a first round offensive weapon ever, why wouldn’t 12 want a big time target to compliment Davante Adams?

Well…he wants Randall Cobb.

That’s right, the former Packer who has cracked 1,000 yards receiving once, and not since 2014. Cobb did haul in 55 catches for 828 yards in 2018, but hasn’t recorded that much production since 2015. So definitely a bold choice in personnel demand by A-Rod here.

Aaron Rodgers is a well thought out, very in touch with himself individual. You cannot deny that he has himself and his life in a great place right now, and he’s taking things into his own hands. In the age of player empowerment, we can expect to see this more and more in professional sports. Let’s just hope at some point the demanders start to up that ante a bit more than Randall Cobb.

Sunday State of Mind: July 19th-June 25th

Photo: Blogenium

After a long week of sports, we’re here to review in this week’s SSM.

We crowned a brand new champ this week in the NBA
Giannis took the whole thing over, in a dominant way
Even better than basketball, maybe his best display
Fifty nuggets and an all-time video, drive through Chik-Fil-A

The Tampa Bay Bucs got their fat ass rings
One of the better perks of being NFL kings
That 43 year old quarterback just continues to linger
If he holds on any more, he’s going to run out of fingers

Opposite side of greatness, USA basketball
Pre-Olympic struggles, and to France they did fall
We’ve been historically spoiled, not used to being rolled
Need Pop and the boys to get going, if they want to get the gold

The summer of college football continues to be one of change
Texas and Oklahoma, nearing a conference rearrange
Leaving the Big 12 to move to the SEC
This will not be the last big move, that’s a guarantee

The Cleveland Baseball Team Has a New Face

On Friday, the face of Cleveland Baseball changed forever. In a move that was announced back in December, baseball fans in the Buckeye State now have a new mascot to root for:

So, there you have it…the Cleveland Guardians. Predictably, the internet remained undefeated, and roasted the changed the appropriate amount, as can be seen here, here, and here.

I’m not here to argue the merits of changing the name or not, because whatever stance you have at this point is not going to change. What I am here to discuss is the above-linked video the team put out on their socials announcing the name.

Total mess of a production. I supposed a good starting point is the fact that their social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all still include the very word this entire name change is about. If we’re making the change, the handles have to be updated before the announcement is made. Posting what’s meant to be a powerful statement changing your team’s former identity while the politically charged word is still your handle is just a brutal look. It’d be like, hypothetically telling a trusting group of followers to “be happy with what you have” while sitting in a 17,000 foot mansion, driving a Ferrari, flying in your personal jet, hoarding a $4.4 million PPP Loan, and having a net worth of $100 million. Again, just a hypothetical, but could you imagine being so dense?

Secondly, we all love Tom Hanks; he’s America’s dad for a reason. But, I’m having some trouble finding the connection between TH and the city of Cleveland. The Black Keys provided the music, which makes sense; they hail from Akron. But Tom Hanks?

Well, according to cleveland.com, a seemingly reliant source on the matter, Hanks’ “ties to Cleveland go back to 1977 when he landed his first professional job as an intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival…[t]he actor became a huge Indians fan during that time.” OK, fair enough. I just think that a proud, Midwestern city like Cleveland could’ve better used one of its own instead of one of the most popular movie stars on the planet who, by the way, hails from Concord, California.

The state of Ohio boasts a pretty impressive list of celebrities and entertainers who could have nailed the voice over assignment here. Again taking from cleveland.com; how does Halle Berry, Drew Carey, or Terrence Howard sound, Cleveland? If that doesn’t do it for you, how about Arsenio Hall, Trent Reznor, or Wes Craven? No go there? Does Steve Harvey, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, or Ed O’Neill tickle your fancy? If none of those work, you have to believe Kid Cudi, Tracy Chapman, or Kathryn Hahn would have done the trick.

What’s done is done. The name, logo, and video are all out for Cleveland baseball fans to enjoy. Maybe the next time a team with an insensitive name changes, their social media team doesn’t drop the ball like the Guardians did. Until then, let the useless Twitter arguments and dumpster fire comment sections on politics in sports continue to rage until we’re all blue in the face and we’ve solved nothing.

Sunday State of Mind: July 12th-June 18th

Reports of SSM’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Our weekly review of the past seven days in sports is back.

Collin Morikawa, The Open is all yours
Second win in eight majors, on his way to more
Jordan Spieth gave it a go, but came up just too short
Two young guns with bright ass futures, so great for the sport

Bucks are up three games to two, Suns are on their heels
The Finals will be over soon, we’ll all be in our feels
Devin Booker’s scoring in droves, Chris Paul is up and down
Giannis is one win away from dawning his first crown

If it is not one thing, it’s always another
Lindor and deGrom, why do the Mets even bother?
To say they have bad luck, would be and understatement at the least
Even with all the injuries, Mets first in the NL East

Speaking of New York, Yankees what the hell?
COVID outbreak last week, six positive players fell
Aaron Judge the biggest name, will be out at least 10 days
Will miss some time against the Phillies, Red Sox, and the Rays

A-Rod or KB: Who Would You Rather Lose?


We may be days, hours, even minutes away from two of sports’ major franchises making drastic roster moves.

We’ve all seen media outlets far and wide run the Aaron Rodgers drama into the ground. No one really knows what’s happening; except the fact that that there seems to be some level of unhappiness betwixt Rodgers and Packers brass. To A-Rod’s credit, he hasn’t done much in the way of making a public mess of things. It’s really just been all of us drumming up our own thoughts on what might actually be happening behind the scenes.

As for Bryant/Cubs situation; the poor, poor Ricketts family just can’t seem to pony up the cash for a contract extension. Who wouldn’t want to lock in an ultra utility player who’s been a franchise cornerstone since 2015?

One, both, (or maybe neither!) of these two superstars seem to be nearing an end with their teams. The question is; who would you rather lose?

Rodgers has been everything for the Packers since taking over in 2008. He’s won three MVPs, lead the league in passing twice, and won Super Bowl XLV.

However, that Super Bowl was a decade ago at this point. Do the Packers think he’s past his prime? Let’s take a quick peak at his last two seasons:

If so, they’re idiots.

Now, as for Bryant. He made his major league debut on April 17, 2015 (after some not so subtle service time manipulation by the Cubs); and hasn’t looked back. Since then, he’s racked up 158 home runs, 460 RBI, a .378 OBP, and a 5.6 WAR. He was the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, a four time All-Star, the 2016 MVP, and of course was a huge part of breaking the most famous curse in sports the same year.

So, why the hell would the Packers or Cubs want to get rid of either of these supreme talents? Great question.

The Packers drafted Jordan Love in 2020 which is, um…cool? As for the Cubs, they’re in complete fire sale mode, and all fans can hope at this point is that they get somewhat of a decent haul when KB is eventually shipped out of the North Side.

Who Wore it Best? 49-40

Photo: Dr. Odd

There’s no better feeling than seeing an old friend, and boy do we have that feeling now. Who Wore It Best is back, and we’ve made it into the 40’s.

49 – Ron Guidry

Photo: Pinterest

Guidry had an above average 14 year career with the Yankees. He won 170 games, two World Series rings, and the 1978 Cy Young. That same year, he went 25-3, threw 16 complete games, and notched a stellar 6.1 hits per nine innings.

Honorable Mention: N/A

48 – Daryl “Moose” Johnston

Not exactly a selection based off of stats. “Moose” lead the way as Emmitt Smith’s fullback en route to three Super Bowls in the 90’s.

Honorable Mention: Rick Reuschel

47 – Tom Glavine

Glavine was a part of one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball – the 90’s Braves with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. He won 305 games, a World Series, and two Cy Young awards.

Honorable Mention: John Lynch

46 – Andy Pettitte

Photo: Newsday

Not a lot of talent to pick from at 46, but Pettitte will do. He won five World Series trophies with the Yankees, notched 256 W’s, and made three All-Star games. He also had that pesky PED issue but…ya know.

Honorable Menions: N/A

45 – Pedro Martínez

Photo: Fansided

Going against our better judgement here and not choosing MJ; he may just show up later. Pedro is a flawless choice at this slot: the member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class won a World Series, three Cy Youngs, made eight All-Star games, and lead the MLB in ERA in five different seasons.

Honorable Mention: Bob Gibson

44 – Hank Aaron

Photo: CBS Sports

An absolute jam packed category at 44. Hammerin’ Hank won the World Series with the Braves in 1957, won three Gold Gloves, two batting titles, and made the All-Star game TWENTY FIVE times…yes, that is not a typo.

Honorable Mentions: Jerry West, John Riggins, Chris Pronger

43 – Troy Polamalu

Polamalu was a shutdown safety for the Steelers from 2003-2014. He won two Super Bowls, was the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was a four time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley

42 – Jackie Robinson

Another no doubter here. Robinson makes the list for breaking the color barrier alone. On top of that, he was a hell of a great player; a World Series champion, MVP, batting champion, and Rookie of the Year.

Honorable Mention: Ronnie Lott

41 – Dirk Nowitzki

Photo: CBS Sports

One in a few of the last batch of superstars to stay with one team their entire career. In his 21 seasons in Dallas, Dirk lead the Mavericks to their only NBA title, was the 2007 MVP, and was a four time first team All-NBA selection.

Honorable Mention: Tom Seaver

40 – Gale Sayers

Photo: WGN

Sayers makes the cut after only five full seasons for the Bears, with injury cutting short what could have been an incredible and long career. In his short time in the NFL, he still managed to be a five time first team All-Pro, lead the NFL in rushing twice, and earned a spot on the NFL’s 50th, 75th, and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Shawn Kemp, Mike Alstott, Henrik Zetterberg

Wow…who knew the 40’s would be so strong? Baseball really held its own here, pitchers specifically. Poor showing by the NBA here, even worse by the NHL. Maybe they’ll recover in the 30’s? Only time will tell.

Student Athletes – 1, NCAA – NIL

Photo: CBS Sports

Tuesday was a historic day in college sports. The NCAA officially enacted a name, image, and likeness (NIL) policy that allows “student” athletes to earn money off of their…name, image, and likeness. This finally allows any college athlete to (legally) earn income that they rightfully deserve.

We’ve already seen Fresno State basketball/TikTok stars Haley and Hanna Cavinder signed deals with Boost Mobile and Six Star Nutrition, Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is the new spokesman for the moving company College Hunks Hauling Junk, LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne could crack a million dollars from her NIL, and Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz straight up released his own logo.

An NIL approval plan was looooong overdue. Of course, as most things with the NCAA, it wasn’t handled correctly. But you can’t have sunshine without rain, right? We’ll see our fair share of car dealerships, autograph deals, and card signing gigs after today’s announcement. But what kind of player endorsements could we have missed out on in years past?

College football seems to benefit huge from the NIL agreement. Can you imagine if we could have seen Reggie Bush RE/MAX Real Estate ads? Andrew Luck working with the Palo Alto Mathnasium? Tim Tebow could have been taking a cut of Sunday tithe in any of the churches in the greater Gainsville area; Cam Newton missed an opportunity with the local Edward Jones Financial branch in Auburn, Alabama.

College basketball has had plenty of stars who could have cashed in back in their day. You can’t tell me a Joakim Noah/Gainesville CBD Store partnership wouldn’t have slapped. Greg Oden linking up with the ATI Physical Therapy in Columbus? Get out of here. Tyler Hansbrough toting Off! Bug Spray? Cha-ching. It’s not just the fellas who missed out on securing the bag. Diana Taurasi and Rebecca Lobo, two of the most dominant UConn Huskies of all time, could’ve crushed it with an ad campaign for the Humane Society. Sabrina Ionescu, the 2020 number one overall pick in the WNBA Draft, played her college ball at Oregon. How great would it have been to have a (paid) cameo appearance on “Portlandia?”

Just scratching the surface here, but don’t want to get too deep and depress all of us even more on what could’ve been. We’ll just have to grin and bear it and accept the fact that that these kids who give an incredible amount to their universities will now be duly paid whatever they can get out there and earn on the free market.

The NCAA sucks.

Sunday State of Mind: June 21st-June 27th

Photo: Wall Up

Here we are again, friends. We have reached the end of another week, and we’re here to review in the latest Sunday State of Mind.

Of all the good stories this year, and there are aplenty
My favorite of them all may be Trey Mancini
Fought and beat cancer last year, but missed the entire season
I’ll be watching the Derby this year, and he’s the only reason

Three double digit hitting streaks in the MLB
Bryan from Pittsburgh, JP from Seattle, and from Houston, Yuli
One week pitchers are too good, and getting checked midgame
After that we get three guys who look like their next stop’s the Hall of Fame

Even more destroying of baseballs, the big guy Kyle Schwarber
When he steps into the box, pitcher’s crouch in horror
Thirteen home runs in fifteen games, guy is on a tear
When he’s in the zone like this, it’s almost just unfair

Another no hitter was thrown this week, Dodgers looking like scrubs
After starting Zach Davies and throwing three relievers, got no hit by the Cubs
It’s the seventh no-no in 2021, tying a major league mark
You never know what you’ll see day to day, at the old ballpark

Can’t forget the NBA, Conference Finals in full swing
Bucks and Hawks are tied 1-1, Suns are doing their thing
The Clippers are missing their guy Kawhi, sidelined by a knee
If he doesn’t get back soon, eliminated they will be

We do have one Finals match set, in the NHL
Montreal and Tampa Bay, let the excitement swell
Will Lord Stanley reside up north? Will Tampa Bay repeat?
Looking forward either way for how the season will complete

Who Wore it Best? 59-50

Photo: Dr. Odd

The dog days are over, the dog days are done, and “Who Wore it Best” has returned. In this edition, we’re checking out the GOATs of the 50’s.

59 – London Fletcher

Photo: Pinterest

One of the most underrated players in NFL history. Fletcher racked up 2,031 tackles, four Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring in 16 seasons. He also never missed a game, which is incredible considering the beating an NFL linebacker takes season in and season out.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Kuechly, Carlos Carrasco, Jack Ham

58 – Jack Lambert

This man was MEAN. One of the stalwarts in the Steel Curtain Defense of the 70’s, Lambert racked up pretty much any award that was available. Six time first team All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Papelbon

57 – Johan Santana

Johan Santana had some nasty stuff. Over his 12 year career, he won 139 games while maintaining a career 3.20 ERA, was a two-time Cy Young winner, and tacked on a Gold Glove in 2007. “No-han” threw an unbelievable 134-pitch no hitter in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Rickey Jackson

56 – Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Seriable

Lawrence Taylor was an absolute DAWG. We’ve gushed over LT in previous blogs, but he’s that good that we’re going to do it again. Two Super Bowls, an MVP, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and eight first team All-Pros are just a fraction of what Taylor accomplished over his incredible career.

Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle

55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was way more than his infamous finger wag; he was a defensive stud. Mutombo lead the NBA in blocks three times and rebounds twice. He made eight All-Star games, won Defensive Player of the Year four times, and has his number retired by two different franchises in the Nuggets and Hawks.

Honorable Mentions: Junior Seau, Orel Hershiser

54 – Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher was the epitome of a Chicago Bears middle linebacker. He played his entire 13-year career in Chicago; tallying 1,361 tackles, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and four first team All-Pros. The eight time Pro Bowler was also named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:
Goose Gossage, Horace Grant, Randy White, Zach Thomas

53 – Artis Gilmore

Photo: NBA.com

Artis Gilmore was a stud in both the ABA and NBA. If you combine his career between both leagues, he was the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, made 11 All-Star games, and scored a shade under 25,000 points.

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Abreu, Mick Tingelhoff

52 – Ray Lewis

Photo: Zimbio

Say what you will about the overzealous speeches, or don’t say anything about the off field issues, but Ray Lewis could flat out ball. Two Super Bowls (including MVP in one), two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a seven time first team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: CC Sabathia, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews

51 – Randy Johnson

The Big Unit! Easily one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen. Johnson ended his 22-year career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 303 wins, a perfect game, one no hitter, five Cy Young trophies, and was the MVP of one of the biggest World Series upsets when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001.

Honorable Mention: Dick Butkus

50 – David Robinson

The very rare story of a service academy athlete becoming one of the best to do it in professional sports. Robinson reached the rank of lieutenant during his three years of service in the Navy, a great achievement. He wasn’t a bad basketball player either; in three separate seasons he lead the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Admiral also won Rookie of the Year, MVP, and two championships.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Singletary, Corey Crawford

A lot of solid athletes in the 50’s; strong showing by football and baseball. A severe lack of hockey here; will they recover in the 40’s? We’ll have to wait and see…