Coach K, Bob Baffert, Brad Stevens: Who Will You Miss Most?

Enormous exodus day on Wednesday. All in a span of approximately six hours, three of the largest names in the coaching/training profession announced that their respective runs were coming to an end.

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has lead the Blue Devils since 1980, announced next season would be his last. After Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for performance enhancers, Churchill Downs suspended Bob Baffert, horse racing’s most notable name, from entering any races at their track for two years. Lastly, and potentially most surprising, the Boston Celtics announced Brad Stevens would be leaving the bench as head coach and moving to the executive suite as their new Head of Basketball Operations.

All three moves are surprising, some more than others. These three are at the very top of their professions. Any time one of these names are the subject of movement it would be a big deal. We got all three in one day.

But one question remains: who will you miss most?

The thought of a Coach K farewell tour honestly makes me ill. Not to take away from five national championships, 12 Final Fours, and three Naismisth Coach of the Year awards…but can we all agree that the guy is a little full on himself? Like the time he (while on medical leave) brought his team to his house to rip them, or lecturing opposing players in the handshake line after a game, or answering student reports with max smarm and condescension.

What about Bob Baffert? Surely can’t take away from his impeccable resume; seven Kentucky Derby winners, same number of W’s at The Preakness, three victories at the Belmont Stakes, and most importantly two Triple Crowns. CNN does a great job outlining his shady history here, same with SI here, and Horse Racing Planet here. TLDR; the guy always seems to find himself in trouble.

Now Brad Stevens…this is a different story. Widely appreciated as a top basketball mind, Stevens will take on the new challenge of putting the team together off the court instead of coaching them on it. He’s had a pretty high level of success at both the collegiate level as well as the NBA. He made a Final Four/NCAA Championship game with Butler (yes, Butler), and made the playoffs in seven of eight seasons in Boston, three of those years making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The guy doesn’t even have a “Controversy” section in his Wikipedia page for God’s sake, he’s clean as a whistle.

This seems like a pretty clear cut decision here. Coach K and Bob Baffert can kick rocks, they can both take their weird old guy hair (I’m just bald/jealous) and get the hell out of sport fans’ lives. But Brad Stevens…sweet, innocent, nerdy Brad Stevens…we will all miss you. Even though you’ll still be around, you’ll be behind the scenes, and not trolling the sidelines with a pocket protector and suspenders. We hope that this new position absolutely blows up in your face and you decide to get back on the court and in front of the camera soon, you sweet, baby-faced little scoundrel.

Sunday State of Mind: April 26th-May 2nd

A week absolutely jam packed with sports, just how we like it. We review in this week’s SSM.

The most exciting two minutes in sports
People wearing suits and hats of all sorts
Money won or money lost, we all enjoyed The Derby
Medina Spirit won the race, and did it in a hurry

The NFL Draft was held this week, dreams coming true
With fresh new rookies on every team, hope springs anew
Some picks were surprises, others maybe not
One thing is for certain though, all fans feel they’ve got a shot

Big time rumors going on from Green Bay’s quarterback
Aaron Rodgers is upset, may want to leave the Pack
Seems like a bit of a longshot, but would shake up the NFL
If he leaves, wherever he goes will be a total bombshell

Best Traditions in Sports

Being a sports fan is one of the best things in the world. Putting your time, effort, and hope into something completely out of your control lets us as fans experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. Another great part of being a fan of a team is the traditions. This could be anything from a certain chant at a game, a simple “Go ____” when you see a stranger wearing your team’s gear out in public, or throwing out a hashtag on social media when the game starts to show support.

But what are the best traditions we’ve seen? In no particular order…

Notre Dame: Play Like a Champion Today

Photo: HuffPost

Say what you will about Notre Dame, this sign is great. Simple, succinct, and certainly motivational. Each of the Irish football players gives a quick tap to the sign before taking the field. The origins of this sign are a bit hazy, but former coach Lou Holtz reinstated the sign placement while he was head coach and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Sausage Race

In the early 1990’s, The Brewers began this gag as a virtual race on their scoreboard. Originally, it was only a three way race between Bratwurst, Polish, and Italian. In the mid-90’s, Hot Dog made his debut. The lineup became complete in 2006, when Chorizo was installed into the competition. Rumors have swirled that actual Brewer players have donned a sausage suit from time to time to join in on the festivities.

The Ohio State University: Dotting the I

At the end of every pregame performance from Ohio State’s marching band, they write out “Ohio” in script, as seen above. The ultimate honor for a marching Buckeye is to “dot the I.” The honor is typically reserved for an upperclassman sousaphone player, and was first performed in 1936.

Kentucky Derby: Call To Post

Can’t you hear this picture? Let me try and get phonetic here, it goes something like this:


This magic little diddy always gets me so jacked up, and makes me losing my annual Trifecta bet a little easier to accept.

The University of Iowa: The Wave

Self-imposed bias here, but this one might be one of the best traditions we have in sports today. Starting in 2017, after a social media suggestion, Iowa fans turned and waved to the patients at the top floor of Children’s Hospital overlooking Kinnick Stadium at the end of every first quarter. The kids often make signs and messages to put on the windows in a response to the fan’s wave.

It’s a truly moving tradition, and if you haven’t had the chance to participate or see it live, here’s a great example.

Chicago Bulls: Player Introductions

The slow building theme song, terrible CGI Bulls running through Chicago landmarks, Benny the Bull waving the Bulls flag at center court, absolutely iconic. If you were a team visiting The United Center in the 90’s, you were basically down by 10 as soon you heard this song come over the loud speakers. Unfortunately, the Bulls continued using this intro after the Jordan era, kind of watering down the tradition. This is one that should have been retired as soon as MJ, Phil, and the dynasty as we all knew it left town (speaking of the end of the Jordan era, if you haven’t checked out our review of “The Last Dance,” check it out here).

Touching a sign, blowing a horn, or simply waving a hand. All things that would seem to be normal activities. But when they are included in sports, these simple tasks can take on a whole new meaning that can be appreciated by competitors and fans alike. There are thousands of sports traditions out there, which ones did we miss?