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 19th-April 25th

We did it, friends…another week in the books. With it, Sunday State of Mind has arrived.

Rob Gronkowski just doing Gronk things
Setting world records and winning rings
A six hundred foot catch, a new world record
Leave it to Gronk to be a Guinness book wrecker

Dodgers and Padres, an amazing series
Two of the league’s best, just my theory
Some good back and forth between two teams
This rivalry is a thing of baseball fan’s dreams

Gerrit Cole and Shane Beiber, aces for sure
Went head to head, could you ask for more?
A pitcher’s duel in Cleveland, Yanks win 2-1
A lack of offense, but the game was fun

This week we could’ve had another great match
Bucks and 76ers, but some players were scratched
No Embiid, no Simmons, and the Bucks took advantage
A blow out for Milwaukee, the Sixers couldn’t manage

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

Dear Baseball: Welcome Back, We Love You

Dear Baseball,

You made it. You’re back. Every year, Spring rolls around and you reappear in our lives just when we’re all at our wit’s end with Winter.

Your debut is upon us, and league-wide hope is at a premium. Spring Training has wrapped, and all thirty teams have traveled back home to start the long, arduous road to a pennant. The weather is starting to turn; summer is creeping around the corner, and with it, thoughts of cold beer and hot dogs dance in our heads.

Opening Day is a time and feeling unlike any other. It’s like waking up in the middle of the night thinking your alarm’s about to go off, to find you’ve only been asleep for an hour. It’s like taking out your contacts after a long day, or hitting every green light when you’re running late. It’s hard to exactly describe it, but have you ever found a $20 bill in your pants that you forgot about? That’s what it feels like having you back.

From Wrigley to Fenway, Yankee Stadium to Petco Park, let the hum of fastballs and pop of catcher’s mitts fill the air for the next seven months. Let the home runs fly out of Coors Field, pop ups die in the acres of foul territory at RingCentral Coliseum, and Bernie Brewer take all of the home run slides his heart desires.

Who cares if the pace of play is a little slow? Who doesn’t want to to piss in a urinal trough, pay $12 for a mini helmet full of ice cream that melts in five minutes, or step in dropped neon yellow nacho cheese while awkwardly scootching past eight of your fellow attendees all while squeezing into undersized seats in 98 degree weather?

We definitely don’t get embarrassed when our favorite players get injured in hilarious ways while playing a noncontact sport. We don’t care that you make a bunch of old men squeeze into baseball uniforms, or that your Hall of Fame voting is incredibly flawed, or that your fields of play aren’t equal in size like every other legitimate professional sport. No reason to complain about the fact that the DH rule isn’t universal, unwritten rules are dumb, and that hitting at this point is either home runs or strikeouts.

Baseball, we could not be happier that you are back.

Love,

Baseball Fans Everywhere

Sunday State of Mind: February 22nd-February 28th

We have finally reached the end of a brutal February. What happened in sports during the last week of this snow-filled month? We recap in this week’s SSM.

A single car wreck rocked the golf universe
Tiger Woods’ accident luckily could have been worse
Today we had a nice tribute after a week full of dread
Golfers at the Workday Championship, wearing Sunday Tiger Red

Rooting for a guy who has been through absolute hell
Teammates once again with Johnny Manziel
Another chapter in the Josh Gordon story
A hopeful step to a return to NFL glory

Bryce Harper came to Spring Training with a hot take for all
He says the NL East “is the best division in baseball”
Top to bottom he may be right, the division is a beast
What about the other league? An argument for the AL East?

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ season looking bleak
As of this weekend they’re on a seven game losing streak
In a long and loss-filled season, someone has to give them shine
Unfortunately for the ‘Wolves, plenty more losses down the line

On the other side of the spectrum, the Nets won eight in a row
Their last win came on Thursday when they beat up on Orlando
But the Mavs came into Brooklyn, and the win streak was no more
Dallas took it to Brooklyn, 115-98 was the final score

The NBA Dropped the 2020-2021 “City Edition” Jerseys Today and We are Now Fashion Critics

The NBA is the the best in the big four sports at a lot of things. They by far and away have the best commissioner in Adam Silver, they lead the charge in the “bubble” phenomenon while getting their sport back on track during the pandemic, and have been for the most part the league least afraid to take stands on both social and political issues.

They also are not afraid to get weird with it when it comes to uniforms, which I respect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional uniforms of Alabama football, Yankee baseball, etc. But getting out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, both in uniforms and in life. In recent years, the NBA has begun creating new uniforms for teams, calling them “City Edition” jerseys that are meant to show “team history and unique city stories.” The 2021 versions were fully released today, and boy are they something.

Atlanta Hawks – while the MLK tribute is awesome, this looks like a jersey from a low budget, late 90’s Disney movie about a team full of scrubs who pulled out all of the right tricks, and had juuuust the right amount of luck to upset the far superiorly talented rivals from across town.
Boston Celtics – an ode to the 17 championship banners hanging in TD Garden, this jersey is the aforementioned far superiorly talented rivals from across town that the Atlanta Hawks beat in the low budget late 90’s Disney movie.
Brooklyn Nets – this jersey has the “Friends” font; and we all know how we feel about Friends around here.
Charlotte Hornets – this jersey looks like mint chocolate ice cream, and it makes me mad because I don’t have any right now.
Chicago Bulls – the Bulls slogan is “Touch the Clouds,” which is ironic because they haven’t touched anywhere higher than eighth place in the Eastern Conference in the past five years.
Cleveland Cavaliers – the font on the Cavs jerseys is as unbalanced and messy as the organization itself.
Dallas Mavericks – hard to find much wrong with these, besides the fact that one of the NBA’s best players, Luka Dončić, wears number 77. Get the hell out of here and give the man a real number.
Denver Nuggets – bold move by the Nuggets here to trot themselves out there wearing the Russian National Team’s uniforms.
Detroit Pistons – very fitting slogan here, “Tough Together,” Pistons fans have had to watch some tough looking basketball together for the last decade or so.
Golden State Warriors – hard to argue with this one, paying tribute to Oakland after moving into their new arena in San Francisco. Like most things The Warriors have done since they drafted Steph Curry, this was done right.
Houston Rockets – so we’re just copy and pasting the alternate Thunder jerseys here? Cool, cool.
Indiana Pacers – a nice throwback here that reminds me of one of my favorite players of all time, Rik Smits.
Los Angeles Clippers – these are pretty much identical to the Clippers 2019-2020 “City Edition” jerseys, so bonus points for fresh creativity. Bonus points for making me want to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when I see the font.
Los Angeles Lakers – a throwback to the old Minneapolis Laker uniforms. Nice mix of old current uniforms with the updated Lakers font up top.
Memphis Grizzlies – these are solid, but I wish they would’ve just went for it with the old Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms, which are just gorgeous and remind me of another one of my favorite old players, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.
Miami Heat – this is the perfect city/team for something like “City Edition” jerseys. Miami can do anything with any neon pink, blue, orange, etc. and make it look great. A very solid, wavy effort here.
Milwaukee Bucks – does anyone really associate Milwaukee with the Great Lakes? I don’t, but can only assume this is what Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted, and The Bucks continue to do whatever they can to keep him happy and in Milwaukee.
Minnesota Timberwolves – this is just generally boring. Also the slogan “The North Star That Guides & Unites” is pretty great for a organization that has seemingly no direction at this point.
New Orleans Pelicans – an ambitious stab here, although I think it came out looking more like what I would have came up with for uniforms of my “Create A Team” in NBA Live 2002. You know, the one with Steve Francis on the cover.
Oklahoma City Thunder – there is A LOT going on here. But the Love’s Truck Stop patch is always good for a chuckle.
Orlando Magic – Orlando has messed around with incorporating orange into their uniforms in last years “City Edition,” and I just don’t get it. They have a great color scheme, and should use it here.
Philadelphia 76ers – a lot of horizontal action happening here. This jersey looks like it belongs on an AAU team from Philly.
Phoenix Suns – these I can get into. The mountain formation of the classic Suns colors. Great look for Devin Booker and his new BFF Chris Paul.
Portland Trailblazers – fun fact: these jerseys are a tribute to a never-before released alternate jersey of the Flint Tropics.
Sacramento Kings – 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 – very smooth. Slick font, crisp lines across the chest. I’m all in here.
Toronto Raptors – from a team that’s going to be playing in Tampa Bay next year, missed opportunity to double up on your sales by throwing “Tampa Bay” and “Toronto” across the chest. Those friendly Canadians are too nice to make people pay twice though, eh?
Utah Jazz – cool idea, but why stop the color scheme at the top of “Utah?” Let those warm colors keep rolling in cold ass Salt Lake City.
Washington Wizards – ending our recap here with a banger. These are great, from the throwback logo to the flag pattern moving down the sides. This is the best thing the Wizards franchise has done in a while.

Even though it seems like the NBA season ended last week, it will be back on Christmas Day. Bring on The Association and all of the great, and not so great, “City Edition” jerseys that come with it.

Sunday State of Mind: August 3rd-August 9th

Photo: Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, everyone. Please enjoy this journey back in time on the week that was in sports in this week’s SSM.

At the time of this blog, the PGA Championship is still live
DJ, Finau, Scheffler…who will survive?
To be completely honest, the most important thing though
Is the continued trolling, of Bryson DeChambeau

The Cubs and Cardinals, cancelled this weekend
St. Louis’ COVID positives have gone off the deep end
It’s the best rivalry in baseball, there’s no debate
Yankees/Red Sox? Giants/Dodgers? Not that great.

This week us NBA fans lost a good one
76ers standout Ben Simmons is done
According to this tweet, Ben had a left knee subluxation
He left the NBA Bubble, on a surgical vacation

Connor McGregor is engaged! The Notorious MMA.
Asked his girlfriend of 12 years, announced on Saturday
Seems like Connor’s enjoying his “retirement” so far
Engaged and staying out of trouble, no hitting old men in bars

Wildest Player/Team Late-Career Combos

The birth of #TompaBay got us thinking; what are the wildest player/team combinations we’ve seen in sports?

These kind of late-career transactions have happened for numerous reasons; a player got fed up with a coach/team *cough Tom Brady cough*, the team got sick of the player, or maybe the player was ring chasing or looking for one more payday with a big contract, and was willing to go wherever needed to get that money. Nothing wrong with that.

For whatever reason, the below combos make me feel quite uncomfortable:

Kerry Wood, New York Yankees

As a Cubs fan, this one cut deep. While I don’t hate the Yankees, Kerry Wood was who you thought of when you brought up The Chicago Cubs during his time in the majors. Kid K spent his best years (1998-2008) on the North Side. After singing a two-year deal with Cleveland, Wood was traded to the Yankees on July 31, 2010. He primarily worked as Mariano Rivera’s setup man.

Luckily for us Cubs fans, Woody came home after his half year in New York. He signed a one year deal to come back to the Cubs and end his career in the blue pinstripes instead of the black ones. The way it was meant to be.

Patrick Ewing, Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing is arguably the best player in New York Knicks history. I’m not old enough to realize how great Walt “Clyde” Frazier or Willis Reed were, but seems only appropriate to throw them in the discussion with more current Knicks like Carmelo Anthony & Allan Houston. For such a “storied” franchise, this is actually a pretty brutal top five list.

On September 20th, 2000, one of the largest trades in NBA history ended Ewing’s 15-year run in New York. The trade included The Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and of course the Seattle Supersonics. Tough break for Patrick in my opinion; nothing against Seattle but I think the Emerald City would come in third place of places I would prefer to move if I had the choice between there, LA, or Phoenix.

Emmitt Smith, Arizona Cardinals

When Emmitt Smith was released from the The Cowboys in 2003 after 12 years in Dallas, he was the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. He had racked up 17,162 yards, scored 153 touchdowns, and won three Superbowls. He was a part of the “triplets” in Dallas with Troy Aikman & Michael Irvin. The guy was the Dallas Cowboys.

When Bill Parcells took over the Cowboys, he decided it was time for a change, and released Smith on February 26, 2003. I think we all would have been happy to see Emmitt call it a career at that point. However, he decided he still had some left in the tank, and signed a two-year deal with The Arizona Cardinals. What resulted were two forgetful seasons highlighted by his return to Dallas to play the Cowboys on October 5, 2003, where he rushed six times for negative one yard.

Shaquille O’Neal, Boston Celtics

The Big Shamrock! One of the cornerstone’s of the Lakers early aughts dynasty ended his career with the rival Celtics, tragic.

I think it’s fair to say once The Big Aristotle’s runs with The Lakers and Heat were over, it was pure ring chasing time for the big fella. Shaq’s tenures in Phoenix, Cleveland, and of course Boston were a bit hard to watch as his body began to break down.

The silver lining we can take from all of these stops are the nicknames that we were given along the way: Superman, The Big Diesel, Big Daddy, MDE (Most Dominant Ever), Wilt Chamberneazy, and my personal favorite from the Phoenix days…Shaqtus.

Randy Moss, Tennessee Titans

Photo: Fansided

Randy “Imma Play When I Wanna Play” Moss. One of the most supremely athletic wide receivers we’ll ever see. If you haven’t, I would suggest taking some time out and watching any highlight tape of Moss’ career, like this one. He was so good that his name became a verb. If you ever get “Moss’d,” you might as well hang up your cleats.

After setting records with Tom Brady in New England, things started to unravel for Moss. His second tenure with The Vikings lasted less than a month, he made six catches with The Titans in eight games, retired for a year, and played his final season with The San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

Michael Jordan, Washington Wizards

Not even going to talk about it.

More often than not, these late-career moves do not worked out well. While it’s nearly impossible in today’s business of professional sports for a player to spend an entire career with one team, loyalty is still something that can be appreciated. However, when the business side makes itself prevalent, we as fans can be given the gift of some hilarious and awkward visuals with players in new uniforms.