Sunday State of Mind: May 13th-June 19th

It’s a special Juneteenth and Father’s Day edition of SSM.

Only one place to start, and that’s out in The Bay
The Warriors are champions again as of Thursday
Steph Curry was the MVP, a well earned award
The stupid “No Steph with KD” talk can now be ignored

The Colorado Avalanche are the perfect name
The Lightning are the target, and they’ve got perfect aim
Up 2-0 in the series, looking absolutely tough
Only two wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup

The Atlanta Braves, 14-game winning streak
Weekend series in Chicago, Cubbies looking bleak
Baseball did the baseball thing, Cubs won the series
After losing 10 in a row, beat Atlanta two of three

The Official UDS 2022 Baseball Preview

Hope springs eternal. It’s finally here, folks; it’s baseball season. Summer is around the corner, and we’ll all soon be sitting in the sun at our favorite ballparks inhaling hot dogs and ice cold beer.

Everyone is doing prediction content, we know that. But our official 2022 prognostications will be coming via the reminiscing route.

Who doesn’t love a good baseball name from from the 90’s or early aughts? So that’s how we’re giving our picks, via our favorite throwback name from each team.

AL East

  1. Toronto Blue Jays – Gregg Zaun, C
  2. Boston Red Sox – Trot Nixon, RF
  3. Tampa Bay Rays – Miguel Cairo, 2B
  4. New York Yankees – Scott Brosius, 3B
  5. Baltimore Orioles – Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

AL Central

  1. Chicago White Sox – José Valentín, 3B
  2. Minnesota Twins – Matt Lawton, CF
  3. Cleveland Guardians – Carlos Baerga, 2B
  4. Detroit Tigers – José Macías, 3B
  5. Kansas City Royals – Mark Grudzielanek, 2B

AL West

  1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Scott Spiezio, 1B
  2. Houston Astros – Julio Lugo, SS
  3. Seattle Mariners – Mike Cameron, CF
  4. Texas Rangers – Royce Clayton, SS
  5. Oakland A’s – Matt Stairs, DH

NL East

  1. Philadelphia Phillies – Mickey Morandini, 2B
  2. Atlanta Braves – Ryan Klesko, RF
  3. New York Mets – Benny Agbayani, LF
  4. Miami Marlins – Hee-Seop Choi, 1B
  5. Washington Nationals – José Vidro, 2B

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals – Fernando Vina, 2B
  2. Milwaukee Brewers – Jeromy Burnitz, RF
  3. Chicago Cubs – Ron Coomer, 3B
  4. Cincinnati Reds – Pokey Reese, 2B
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates – Tony Womack, SS

NL West

  1. Colorado Rockies – Dante Bichette, RF
  2. San Francisco Giants – Benito Santiago, C
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers – César Izturis, SS
  4. San Diego Padres – Mark Kotsay, CF
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks – Lyle Overbay, 1B

God, that was amazing…I think I need a cigarette. So many great names, so much boring baseball to have on in the background until October. Let’s go.

Sunday State of Mind: November 1st-November 7th

Photo: PBS

The colors are changing, but the sports world is not. We look back at the week that was in this week’s SSM.

World Series Champs, your Atlanta Braves
A bonus Astros loss, what baseball fans crave
A total random champ in the MLB
Finally Atlanta fans filled with major glee

Bad week for the Bills, lost to the Jags
No TD’s on either side, not riches but rags
Real life Spiderman meme, two Josh Allens
Final score of 9-6, two teams with no talons

Speaking of bad weeks, Odell Beckham Junior
Got divorced from the Browns, should’ve happened sooner
OBJ got his wish, went and got waived
Time for a new team, and a path to be paved

Aaron friggin’ Rodgers, what a wild week
Talked on McAfee’s show, one hell of a streak
He missed this week in KC, after a positive test
For COVID 19, needs a PR life vest

More bad PR, from the NBA
Two awful owners, who maybe just might pay
For their terrible actions, probably time to go
The Suns and The Blazers, both guys really blow

Sunday State of Mind: October 25th-October 31st

A spooky, after dark edition of SSM this week. We take a scary hayrack ride through the week that was in the sports world.

Those scrappy bad guy Astros, just keep hangin’ ’round
The Braves could have been World Series champs, no king yet has been crowned
Atlanta still up 3-2, one more win on the way?
They’ll get a chance to become champs this coming Tuesday

The Jets have won a game! What a New Jersey dream
Even more impressive, they beat a first place team
Tough loss for the Bengals, hopefully a minor stop
In what would be a great season while rising to the top

Sticking in the AFC East, but opposite result
Dolphins lose their seventh straight, total football insult
The Bills bounce back for a win, after a Monday loss
Come playoff time, Bills Mafia will not be crossed

The NBA is in full swing, the sports world has no lulls
The Eastern Conference has been surprising: Knicks, Hornets, and Bulls
Out in the Western Conference, Clippers are 1-4
Hope it will get better, a start the Clips ignore

Got an in state battle, down in East Lansing
Sparty came out, beat big brother, totally did their thing
A tough loss for Michigan, but they’re still top 10
Another ranked opponent beating Jim Harbaugh again

A really tough two weeks for Iowa football
Number two two weeks ago, since then been all fall
After losing to Wisconsin, another unranked foe
Hawkeyes fall to number 19, there their playoff dreams go

Caleb Williams and the Sooners, rolled up Texas Tech
Six touchdowns through the air, Red Raiders saying “what the heck?”
Incredible start to a career, the young man is a battler
Continues to be special and play over Spencer Rattler

Sunday State of Mind: October 11th-October 17th

We are in the thick of October. What does that mean? Football, baseball, basketball, and hockey are all getting in gear. We review the week that was in the latest Sunday State of Mind.

Bears and Packers, for the hundredth year
That’s plenty of deep dish, cheese, and beer
Green Bay won again, their fourth in a row
Ten point loss for the Bears, they continue to blow

Another game in foggy London-town
Dolphins and Jags, and the Fins go down!
Jacksonville wins for the first time in ever
Twenty game losing streak now gone forever

The Chicago Sky, crown the queens!
Championship blood in all of their genes
Kahleah Copper lead the way
The Sky are the champs of the WNBA

Four teams left in the MLB rave
Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, and Braves
A quartet of skilled teams are baseball’s last tenants
Only two will advance and win their league’s pennants

Sunday State of Mind: October 4th-October 10th

We saw anything and everything this week in sports. We look back fondly in the latest edition of Sunday State of Mind.

A rarely seen building raid, in the NFL
Washington Football Team, what in the actual hell?
Head trainer got busted, DEA involved
Wonder what the charges are, once this all gets solved

Another rarity in sports, a big time title fight
Fury/Wilder III, a boxing fan’s delight
Fury did his job, retained the title belt
A crushing blow to Wilder, to whom defeat was dealt

Number three vs. number four, in college football
Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes, big defensive brawl
Iowa losing early, came back from down 14
Huge win over PSU, a storming the field scene

Another storming happened, down in College Station
Texas A&M pulled the upset for Aggie Nation
Such a rarity to see Alabama lose
Anytime it happens it’s legit breaking news

Playoff time in baseball, division series round
Most series are tight, good matchups can be found
At the time of writing, only the White Sox down 2-0
Getting swept after their year would be a major blow

Who Wore it Best? 39-30

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re sadly on the downhill turn of “Who Wore It Best.” In this edition, we get into the 30’s.

39 – Dominik Hašek

Photo: NHL.com

Hot start for hockey! Hašek was one of the greatest goaltenders to ever do it. His career spanned four decades (1980-2011), and included two Stanley Cups, two Hart Memorial trophies, and six Vezina trophies.

Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka

38 – Pavol Demitra

Demitra seemed to be on track to becoming one of the best Czech players in the game. He recorded 768 points in 847 games before sadly passing in a plane accident in 2011.

Honorable Mention: N/A

37 – Patrice Bergeron

Photo: CBS Sports

Bergeron has been a steady force for the Bruins since 2003. A part of the 2011 Stanley Cup winning team, Bergeron also made All-Star games in 2015 and 2016.

Honorable Mention: N/A

36 – Jerome Bettis

“The Bus” comes rumblin’, stumblin’, bumblin’ onto our list at 36. Bettis won a Super Bowl (in his home town of Detroit), was a two time first team All-Pro, and made six Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: Gaylord Perry

35 – Kevin Durant

An easy choice for what ended up being a stacked slot. Durant is potentially (based on how much you love/hate Lebron) currently the best basketball player on the planet. In a career with plenty of years left, Durant has already put together an incredible resume. The Slim Reaper has two NBA titles (Finals MVP in both), a regular season MVP, six first team All-NBA selections, and 11 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mentions: Phil Niekro, Frank Thomas, Aeneas Williams, Tony Esposito

34 – Shaquille O’Neal

Another loaded number of selections here, but the most dominant big man of all time takes the cake. The Big Diesel’s career accolades are almost too much to list: four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, fifteen All-Star games, and eight first team All-NBA selections.

Honorable Mentions: Nolan Ryan, Kerry Wood, Hakeem Olajuwon, Walter Payton, Thurman Thomas, Earl Campbell

33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

For as much good as Kareem has done off the court, he was as great on it. Six rings, a matching number of MVPs, 10 first team All-NBA selections, five first team All-Defensive teams, and lead the NBA in blocks in four separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Eddie Murray, Scottie Pippen, Zdeno Chára, Henrik Sedin, Dustin Byfuglien

32 – Magic Johnson

Photo: Curbed

We all know how good Magic was as a player. For as good as he was on the court, he may have found his true life’s calling as a hot take artist.

Honorable Mentions: Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax, Marcus Allen, Jim Brown

31 – Greg Maddux

Photo: Taddlr

Maddux is the second of the 90’s Braves big three to make the list, with Tom Glavine making the cut at 47. Mad Dog ended his 22 year career with 355 wins, 18 Gold Gloves, and four Cy Youngs.

Honorable Mention: Reggie Miller

30 – Terrell Davis

Probably going to be our shortest career to make the list. Davis only played in the NFL from 1995-2001, but was good enough to make the Hall of Fame in 2017. In seven seasons, he racked up two Super Bowls, an MVP, and three first team All-Pro selections.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Raines, Martin Brodeur

The 30’s were by far our most expansive edition yet. Huge names and the honorable mention lists were incredible, specifically 32-35. One can only assume the list is going to keep improving into the 20’s.

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.

Who Wore it Best? 69-60

Photo: Dr. Odd

Guess who’s back? Our “Who Wore It Best” series, that’s who. We last checked in on who wore numbers 79-70 best, now we dive into the 60’s.

69 – Jared Allen

Photo: Celebrity Net Worth

Not a huge field of choices here, but a nice selection. Jared Allen played for the Chiefs, Vikings, Bears, and Panthers during an above-average 11 year NFL career. He made First Team All-Pro four times, lead the NFL twice in sacks, and made five Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: N/A

68 – Jaromir Jagr

Photo: CBS Sports

The flow is enough to be included on our list. That head lettuce is a thing of beauty. Jagr wasn’t half bad in his 24 seasons in professional hockey either: most career game winning goals (135), five Art Ross trophies, and two Stanley Cups.

Honorable Mention: Will Shields

67 – Francisco Córdova

Photo: Rum Bunter

Remember this guy? Cordova gets the nod for pitching nine innings in a what ended up being a 10 inning no hitter for the Pirates against the Astros on June 12, 1997.

Honorable Mention: N/A

66 – Mario Lemieux

Surprisingly strong category here at 66. Lemieux takes it home as one of the best hockey players to ever do it. In fact, Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky are the only two players who occupy the list of top ten seasons for points and assists in a season. Pretty impressive company to keep.

Honorable Mentions: Ray Nitschke, Yasiel Puig

65 – James Paxton

Paxton may very well end up being the youngest athlete to make our list. However, “Big Maple” has earned his spot at 65 for recording a no-hitter for the Mariners in 2018.

Honorable Mention: Erik Karlsson

64 – Randall McDaniel

Photo: eBid

McDaniel was a stalwart offensive guard for 13 seasons, mostly with the Vikings. McDaniel started 220 of his career 222 games, made 12 Pro Bowls, and is a member of NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Honorable Mention: N/A

63 – Gene Upshaw

Another hard nosed, badass, old school NFL lineman. Upshaw played 14 years for the Raiders, scooping up three First Team All-Pro selections, five Second Team All-Pro selections, and two Super Bowl rings.

Honorable Mention: Brad Marchand

62 – Jim Langer

Jim Langer was the center for the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Dolphins. Langer won two Super Bowls and was a three time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: N/A

61 – Liván Hernández

Who else loved this absolute unit growing up? His career numbers aren’t stellar, but anyone who can hang around the majors for 17 seasons is impressive. Hernandez is a two time All-Star who won a ring as well as World Series MVP honors with the Marlins in 1997.

Honorable Mention: Rick Nash

60 – Dallas Keuchel

Not a lot of meat on the 60 bone, but a fine choice here. Keuchel has established himself as one of the steadiest pitchers in baseball since entering the bigs with the Astros in 2012. He has won four Gold Gloves, the 2015 Cy Young, and a World Series ring in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Another edition of “Who Wore It Best,” done and dusted. Nice representative spread in the the 60’s for football, hockey, and baseball. Total choke job from basketball here; maybe we’ll see some stronger effort in the 50’s?

Sunday State of Mind: April 12th-April 18th

Sports gave us another week full of entertainment, enjoyment, and great moments. We look back in this week’s SSM.

Trevor Lawrence had himself a rough week
People thought his love for football looked bleak
Nothing’s going to change, he’ll still go number one
The top of this month’s draft is all but done

Another bad football story, about a man that’s large
Aaron Donald caught himself a false assault charge
After the initial statement, the accuser took it back
A quick and fair solution, did not get out of whack

The New York Yankees, not showing face
Through 15 games, sitting in last place
Just like the poor Tigers, Pirates, and Braves
Yanks better start moving before the season caves