We’re in a thinner time in the sports schedule then we’d all like, but that won’t stop us from enjoying what we can and waxing poetic in this week’s Sunday State of Mind.
Bad faith negotiations in the MLB The lockout continues, something you hate to see The owners and the players are way too far apart More and more looking like Opening Day late start
Moving to basketball, James Harden holy shit First two games in Philly, seems like a real nice fit Double double Friday, triple dub today Joel Embiid’s new teammate certainly came to play
Some major scoring weekends in the association Ja, Bam, Joel, Kyrie, numbers full of inflation 46, 36, 37, 38 are point totals we saw Offensive performances leaving fans in awe
Georgetown Hoyas basketball, program’s a dumpster fire For head coach Patrick Ewing this was a job that he desired Eighteen straight losses, haven’t won since 2021 Two more games for the Hoyas and the season’s finally done
With our Super Bowl hangovers cured, it’s time to move along in the sports calendar. This week’s SSM reviews the week that was in sports.
Baseball’s continued locked out, two sides can not agree Between the player’s union and owners from the MLB Spring Training scheduled for last week, of course that’s a no go Hopefully resolve comes soon so we can see The Show
NBA All-Star Weekend, they always do it right Skills, three point, and dunk contest happened Saturday night Cavs, KAT, and Obi, winners respectively Team LeBron beat Team Durant tonight on TNT
College basketball fight! But not between the players Michigan’s Juwan Howard was the slap conveyor Wisconsin winning big, but called a late timeout Pissed off the Wolverines and lead to the postgame coach bout
A great start to the week for all of us uniform analysts out there. The NBA dropped their 2021-2022 “City Edition” jerseys on Monday. One of our favorite traditions around here is being completely uninformed fashion critics. As we did last season, we are here once again to provide commentary that no one asks for or needs.
Cleveland Cavaliers – at time of writing, the Cavs have yet to post about their City Edition jerseys; simply shocking that an organization so well run would miss something like this. If you really want to get an idea, go watch Hoosiers.
Detroit Pistons – aren’t these pretty much just…their normal uniforms with the colors flipped? Only redeeming quality here is a that hint of Grant Hill era green/turquoise on the shorts.
Miami Heat – year in and year out, the Heat are at the top of any type of alternate uniform list, and nothing changes here. The ability to pull off all of the neon blues, pinks, etc. puts them at an unfair advantage. Excellent as usual.
Philadelphia 76ers – nice 70’s ABA vibe here. The multi-colored side panel gives off a little Nuggets/rainbow feature as well.
Phoenix Suns – the Suns haven’t posted about their City Edition jerseys at time of writing. But, it doesn’t appear they changed anything from last year. Those were perfect, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Portland Trailblazers – not a huge stray away from their normal threads, but this still plays. How about the argyle-ish side panel, when was the last time we saw that on an NBA uniform?
Sacramento Kings – the lion logo is above par, the rest is fine. I’m going to use my joke from last year’s review (because it was so hilarious), I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has “sac” on it, which is approval enough for me.
San Antonio Spurs – all in on these. Bright colors really work when teams try to think outside of the box on uniforms, and the Spurs’ color history works perfect for this.
Toronto Raptors – the Raptors kind of have a Magic/orange obsession with gold; very random. But you have to give some points here for the old school logo. A dinosaur dribbling a basketball, how absurd.
Utah Jazz – no social media post, and based on the picture above it doesn’t look like the Jazz put too much effort into their City Edition jerseys this year, sad!
Another year, another mediocre City Edition jersey review. This is a fun thing the NBA does every year, and while I’m sure they love the conversation and extra dollars that come with it, the misses are almost always as good as the hits.
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
Joakim Noah, the Bulls newest ambassador and one of the NBA’s most interesting men on and off the court, will be properly honored Thursday night in Chicago. The son of a professional tennis player and Miss Universe contestant will get his due at The United Center for his efforts and contributions during his 13 years in the NBA. The Knicks come to town to play the Bulls in a matchup of two of Noah’s former teams for “Joakim Noah Night.”
The Bulls put together a great (long) thank you video outlining what Noah meant during and after his time with the organization.
For anyone who appreciated the Noah/Rose/Boozer/Thibodeau era of Chicago basketball, this whole week has been a nostalgic blur. The Bulls Twitter account has been full of content and pictures that will bring any fan back to an incredible time.
Here at UDS, we would like to join the party in heaping praise on Joakim. Some of his greatest career highlights (in our opinion) are below.
One of the GOAT pictures in NBA, if not all of history.
Where do we even start?
Every single aspect of this picture brings joy. The tan pinstripe suit, the draft day hat barely containing the glorious hair, the gap-toothed infectious smile, the oversized bow tie.
The overall complete contrast next to David Stern makes Noah’s draft day picture one of the greatest of all time.
After his time in Chicago, Noah signed with the Knicks in 2016.
An unfortunately unsuccessful tenure that only lasted three injury-filled seasons.
In an interview with Chris Vernon, Noah admitted: “I can look back at it and say I was ready for New York City…[b]ut I wasn’t. Not just the pressure. I remember after the first game I had 60 people in my house. I’m too lit to play in New York City.”
The blunt honesty is something so rare we get as fans, and Noah should be applauded for being so sincere on such a public failure.
So Jo, Sticks, Mr. Noah, Stickity, and any other loving name we can use, thank you. Your energy, openness, and general vibe made you one of the most entertaining players the NBA has had in its history.
The finish line is in sight on our recurring series “Who Wore It Best.” In our penultimate edition, we’re getting into the teens.
19 – Johnny Unitas
Starting off young, fresh, and hip. While 19 turns out to be an incredibly strongly represented number, Unitas is widely known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Four championships, three MVPs, and a member of all three of the 50th, 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams gives Johnny U the nod.
Honorable Mentions: Tony Gwynn, Willis Reed, Steve Yzerman, Jonathan Toews
18 – Peyton Manning
Back to back Colts quarterbacks to get us started here. A member of the most recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee class, Manning put up some unreal numbers en route to two Super Bowl wins. Manning’s trophy case is busting at the seams with five MVPs, the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year Award, and number retirement plaques for his number 18 in both Indianapolis and Denver.
Honorable Mention: Denis Savard
17 – Todd Helton
Todd Helton played baseball and football at University of Tennessee, and was a teammate of Peyton Manning’s. However, Helton makes our list for his accomplishments on the diamond. Helton retired in 2013 with a career average of .316, 369 home runs, and 2,519 hits. Along the way, he won three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, and a batting title in 2000.
Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers
16 – Joe Montana
Much like Unitas, Montana is a firm part of the “best quarterback of all-time” conversation. Montana lead the 49ers to four Super Bowl rings, while being the MVP in three of those four wins. One of the more accurate quarterbacks of his time, he lead the NFL in completion percentage five separate seasons.
Honorable Mentions: Whitey Ford, Brett Hull
15 – Bart Starr
If we’re including Johnny Unitas, it’s only fair to involve Bart Starr. The quarterback who lead the Packers to victories in Super Bowls I and II, while winning MVP in both games, finished his career with five championships, a regular season MVP award, and four Pro Bowls.
Honorable Mentions: Carlos Beltran, Jim Edmonds
14 – Pete Rose
Taking a bit of gamble including Rose on our list, but here we are. The all-time hit king (4,256) does have a stellar on-field resumé. Seventeen All-Star games, three World Series rings, the 1973 NL MVP, and two Gold Gloves.
Honorable Mentions: Ernie Banks, Oscar Robertson, Dan Fouts
13 – Wilt Chamberlain
Of course the only man to score 100 points in an NBA game is making our list. Wilt the Stilt averaged a silly 30.9 points per game and 22.9 rebounds per game over his 15 year career. He also won two rings, four MVPs, was a seven time scoring champion, as well as an 11 time rebound champion.
Honorable Mentions: Alex Rodriguez, Dan Marino
12 – Tom Brady
The greatest quarterback of all time at the most important position in sports. TB12’s resumé is too long to outline here; but it’s headlined by his seven Super Bowl rings. On top of that, Brady has lead the league at one point in his career in passing touchdowns, yards, and rating.
Honorable Mentions: John Stockton, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Jim Kelly, Joe Namath, Bob Griese, Aaron Rodgers, Jarome Iginla
11 – Mark Messier
Being the center piece of a dynasty goes a long way in lists like these. Messier was the unquestioned leader & captain in Edmonton, where he lead the Oilers to five Stanley Cups. He also became the only player to captain two separate teams to Stanley Cup victories when he lead the Rangers to the cup in 1994.
Honorable Mentions: Barry Larkin, Larry Fitzgerald
10 – Fran Tarkenton
Fran Tarkenton walked to Steve Young, Michael Vick, and the like could run. Not only did Tarkenton sling it for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns, he also ran for 3,674 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career. Another fun fact: his only MVP season came in 1975, his 15th year in the NFL.
Honorable Mentions: Walt Frazier, Guy Lafleur
Heavy quarterback representation here. Any other noise was a faint whisper from baseball. Abysmal showing by hockey and basketball. We’ll bid farewell to our ongoing series in the next edition of “Who Wore It Best.”
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
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
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
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
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…
It’s a holiday weekend, and we’re here with a wrap up of what happened in sports this week with Sunday State of Mind.
The biggest story far and wide, the rivalry continues to grow Brooks Koepka went viral with disdain for Bryson DeChambeau Most golf fans would agree with Brooks, Bryson’s a bit of a tool No surprise Tom Brady came in, and continued his Twitter Rule
Another weird moment this week, in the story of Julio Jones When speaking with Shannon Sharpe, “didn’t know” he was on the phone Either way it seems to be the end of Julio in the A His relationship with the Falcons continues to decay
The NBA playoffs just keep chugging along The Sixers, Hawks, and Nets are all looking strong The Cinderella Knicks might be ending their run soon Only seemed a few weeks ago they were going to the moon
Round two of who wore it best is here. We’re ranking the GOAT to wear each jersey number. If you missed part one for jersey numbers 99-90, check it out here. For now, let’s dive into numbers 89-80.
89 – Mike Ditka
Everyone knows Ditka lead the Bears to their only Super Bowl in ’85. Did you know on the field he was a five time Pro Bowler, first team all-pro four times, and was the rookie of the year in 1961? Ditka also has the number 89 retired for both the Bears and at the University of Pittsburgh.
Honorable Mention: Alexander Mogilny
88 – Patrick Kane
STRONG number here. Kaner takes the crown as a sure fire Hall of Famer with three Stanley Cups, the 2013 Conn Smythe trophy, and nine all-star selections.
Honorable Mentions: Albert Belle, Antoine Walker, Michael Irvin, Allan Page
87 – Sidney Crosby
Crosby has an even stronger resumé than Kane. Two Conn Smythe trophies, two Olympic gold medals, three Stanley Cups, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski, Dan Otero
86 – Antonio Freeman
Slim pickings at number 86. Antonio Freeman had a respectable NFL career; in 1998 he led the NFL in receiving yards, was named to the Pro Bowl, and was named first team All-Pro. He also tacked on a Super Bowl win in the 96-97 season.
Kittle hasn’t been in the NFL for too long, but has already done some serious damage. In three and a half seasons (he only played eight games in 2020), Kittle has made two Pro Bowls, was a first team All-Pro in 2019, and has racked up 3,579 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: Antonio Gates, Baron Davis
84 – Randy Moss
One of the best athletes to ever play wide receiver. Moss has unreal runs with the Vikings from 98-04 and Patriots from 07-10. He lead the NFL in touchdowns in five different seasons, was a four time first team All-Pro, and is a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Honorable Mentions: Prince Fielder, Chris Webber
83 – Wes Welker
Unreal bad luck for Wes Welker that he played six seasons with Tom Brady and two with Peyton Manning and has exactly zero Super Bowl rings. He did however revolutionize the slot receiver position, collecting two first team All-Pro selections and leading the NFL in receptions in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Honorable Mention: N/A
82 – Ozzie Newsome
Ozzie Newsome was one of the first tight ends to stretch the field; he paved the way for the Gronks, Kelces, and Ertzs of the world that we see in the NFL today. He is a member of the Browns Ring of Honor, bringing in 662 catches, almost 8,000 yards, and 47 touchdowns during his career.
Honorable Mention: N/A
81 – Marian Hossa
Our second Blackhawk to crack the list. Hossa was a huge part of the Chicago’s three Stanley Cups in the 2010’s. He also was named to the All-Rookie team in 1999 and made five All-Star games.
Honorable Mentions: Tim Brown, Phil Kessel
80 – Jerry Rice
No doubter here; the original GOAT. The career accomplishments are almost embarrassing: three Super Bowls, ten first team All-Pro, 13 Pro Bowls, member of the 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams, and first team All-80’s and All-90’s Teams. Rice’s career stats are also zany: 1,549 catches, 23,546 yards, and 208 touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: N/A
Heavy football and hockey vibes in this edition. We’ll crack into the 70’s in our next edition of Who Wore It Best.