Sunday State of Mind: May 24th-May 30th

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

An Albert Pujols Appreciation Blog

Shocking, though not terribly surprising news dropped on Thursday. The Los Angeles Angels announced that they would be releasing Albert Pujols. Pujols had been with the team since 2012, signing an at the time 10 year, $240 million mega deal.

Pujols, a missed nomination for the funniest names in sports, continued a completely understandable late career downtrend this season. Through 24 games in 2021, he is hitting .198 with a .622 OPS. For reference, his first year in LA he hit .285 and .859, respectively.

However, we are not here to kick Pujols while he’s down. Father Time is undefeated (unless you’re Tom Brady), so the declining numbers we’ve seen from Pujols is nothing short of expected.

We’re here to celebrate what may be the end of one of the most spectacular baseball players in the modern era. Hand up; I’m a Cubs fan. I think enough time has passed that myself and fellow North Siders can appreciate Pujols for what he was, an absolute tank who refused to not rip your heart out at any given moment.

Let’s just break this down. In his 11 years in St. Louis, Pujols hit 445 home runs, knocked in 1,329 RBI, maintained an 1.037 OPS, and was an unearthly 86.6 WAR. I’m not a math guy, but we’re looking at averages of about 40 HRs, 121 RBI, and 7.9 WAR. That’s an average year. Just bananas numbers.

Now, the numbers did dip once he left The Cardinals for the West Coast. Even so, the numbers are still pretty impressive for a guy entering the back half of his career. During his 10 seasons with The Halos, Pujols racked up 222 HRs, 783 RBI, a .758 OPS, and a 12.8 WAR. I won’t bore you with averages here, but you can see the production was still there.

A sure fire Hall of Famer, and seemingly a pretty good guy off the field. Albert Pujols deserves the appreciation from any baseball fan lucky enough to watch him in the past 21 years. If this is it, here’s to an incredible career.

Sunday State of Mind: February 8th-February 14th

Happy Valentines Day! A holiday associated with poetry is a perfect time to drop this week’s SSM.

The Tampa Bay Bucs had their Super Bowl parade
Appeared the entire team was drinking vodka lemonade
The visuals from the entire day were just so great
Who says no to next year Brady getting number eight?

The Houston Texans have released JJ Watt
An organization in flux, change happening a lot
A formerly great offense, and that defense was mean
Next year looks like it’s trending towards 0-16

The Cubs and Jake Arrieta are running it back
The Cy Young winner, rejoining the pack
In a rotation that’s lacking, Jake could be a guide
And stabilize a weakness next year on the North Side

We got old school Melo this week, absolutely silly
Sixteen fourth quarter points in a win against Philly
Carmelo had 24 points as the Blazers sixth man
Portland fifth in the West, things going to plan

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

Photo: The Wow Style

Super Bowl Sunday, what a rollercoaster. The excitement of the biggest game of the year and just like that…the season’s over. We take it quarter by quarter in this week’s SSM.

Bit of a slow first quarter, 7-3
Big play was the first Brady to Gronk TD
Would the early deficit have the Chiefs feeling blue?
Let’s move our recap on, to quarter number two

Second quarter, guess who?
Brady to Gronk, TD number two!
Bucs looked good and were rolling at half
Brady beating Mahomes, the old bull vs. the young calf

Third quarter, more Bucs, Tampa kept adding on
Bucs looking like kings, Chiefs looking like pawns
Fournette got in on the touchdown party
Bucs showed up on time, Chiefs showed up tardy

We all saw it coming from the jump
Tom Brady and the Bucs get over the hump
Another incredible chapter in the Tom Brady story
For the seventh time, TB12 hoists the Lombardi Trophy

Sunday State of Mind: January 18th-January 24th

Photo: Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

NFL Championship Sunday is done, and the Super Bowl is set. We recap and look forward to Super Bowl LV in this week’s SSM.

Tampa and Green, the battle of the Bays
Tom Brady just wins in so many ways
Bucs are heading to their second Super Bowl
One more win and they’ll accomplish their goal

The Kansas City Chiefs, what more can you say
Andy Reid heading to another Super Bowl Sunday
In today’s NFL, so hard to repeat
Hard to imagine right now, the Chiefs getting beat

So the big game is set, Tampa Bay and Kansas City
This match up, my God, the opposite of a pity
TB12 and Mahomes, makes a fan feel alive
Only two weeks away from Super Bowl 55

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

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

NFL Divisional Playoff weekend has come and gone. We’re here to wax poetic about it in this week’s SSM.

First game of the weekend, hosted by Green Bay
The Packers really took it to the Rams of LA
Aaron Rodgers continued his MVP run
The Rams are headed home, back to the California sun

The Bills and Ravens in upstate New York
Buffalo’s in the AFC Championship, pop the cork
The Ravens fall again in the second round
Someday soon Lamar will be Super Bowl bound

The Cleveland Browns had a nice playoff run
But they met the Chiefs, and now they’re done
Patrick Mahomes continues to roll
If he beats the Bills, he’s off to another Super Bowl

Bucs and Saints, Tom Brady again
Went down to New Orleans, came out with a win
Brady vs. Rodgers next week, up in Lambeau
All time QB matchup, who says no?

Sunday State of Mind: November 9th-November 15th

Photo: Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

Another weekend come and gone…let’s reflect on the week that was in this weeks SSM.

The Miami Marlins, shattering the ceiling
The team has hired the first female GM, an absolute awesome feeling
Kim Ng has been hired to run the show for the Marlins
Here’s hoping it all goes well, and she leads the team to many wins

The 2020 Masters was as always a treat
Dustin Johnson, simply could not be beat
Yes DJ took home his first green jacket
He’s the #1 golfer in the world, in his own bracket

The Bills and Cardinals, holy shit
Kyler to DeAndre, Cards didn’t quit
On the last extra point, the Cards took a knee
An incredible cover, for those who had Buffalo +3

The Tompa Bay Bucs got back on track
TB12 with four touchdowns, put the team on his back
Ronald Jones went yard with a 98-yard score
The Buccaneers are gelling more and more

Sunday State of Mind: September 7th-September 13th

Photo: Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Football. Is. Back. Enjoy this week’s SSM dedicated solely to the NFL’s return.

Texans and Chiefs, Thursday night
Football is back, no need to fright
Patrick Mahomes picked up right where he left off
So happy to see the NFL kickoff

Bears and Lions, Matt and Mitch
Football’s back, our scratch is itched
Three fourth quarter Trubisky touchdowns
Bears fans quickly changed to smiles from frowns

Seahawks and Falcons, offensive show
Both teams came out and let us know
Both teams are fine wines, and popped their corks
Russell Wilson won it, and is still a dork

Jets and Bills, breaking news
Jets fans better start chugging their booze
Brand new season, but same results
Unfortunate roster, full of football dolts

Packers and Vikings, guess who’s back
Aaron Rodgers came on in a full blown attack
Dalvin Cook, first game after signing a new deal
Low scrimmage yards but two scores, guy’s the real deal

Dolphins and Patriots, no more TB12
But Cam Newton’s talents, did New England delve 
Fins didn’t look great, have to knock off some grime
Sooner rather than later, it will be Tua time

Eagles and Washington, the football team
Philly started out hot, it seemed like a dream
But Washington came back and got the win
Eagles not made of metal, seem more like tin

Raiders and Panthers, down in Charlotte
High scoring game, offenses moving a bit
Raiders got a tough win on the road
Three tuddys for Josh Jacobs, guy was ready to explode

Colts and Jags, AFC South
Jacksonville came out and hit the Colts in the mouth
Only one incompletion for Gardner Minshew
Tough L for Phil Rivers, his first game in Colts blue

Browns and Ravens, the MVP Lamar
Looks like he’ll take Baltimore, again pretty far
Baltimore said let’s go out and wreck ‘em
The end of a shitty week for Odell Beckham

Chargers and Bengals, Joe Burrow time
First over all pick, he looked just fine
Chargers won though, lead by Tyrod Taylor
Plenty of future Burrow wins, guy’s not a failure

Cardinals and 49ers, battle in the Bay
DeAndre Hopkins came to play
Fourteen catches, 150+ yards
Great week one road win for the Arizona Cards

Buccaneers and Saints, Brady and Brees
Two future Hall of Famers, yes please
The Saints won at home this time around
Tom and Drew, round two, week eight, how’s that sound?

Cowboys and Rams on Sunday night 
The end of a great Sunday, it just felt right
New stadium for LA and they started with a win
No more Sundays without football, it felt like a sin

Steelers and Giants, Titans and Broncos
Two games on Monday night, anything goes
These games haven’t happened yet, so here’s a preview
There’s nothing better, than a NFL season anew

Sunday State of Mind (SSM): June 29th-July 5th

We hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, socially-distanced holiday weekend. With all of the loud fireworks, long days at the pool and on the boat, and late nights around the bonfire, it’s time to take the foot off of the gas, slow it down, and find your center with this week’s SSM…

The NBA is getting close, to a return to play
Positive tests for players and staff, causing some dismay
Adam Silver, the commish, says it’s no guarantee
That if the virus continues to spread, the season will finish completely

More COVID news effecting sports, this time the NFL
Teams are allowing fans to change their season tickets, opt out or sell
Bears, Bills, Jets, Texans, Giants and Patriots have so far allowed this plan
Who wants to see any of these teams live anyways, not even die hard fans

Speaking of the NFL, Tom Brady at it again
Flirting on Instagram, with his boy Julian Edelman
Cam Newton is now in town, the new king of Foxborough
With Belichick and Cam, Pats might go 16-0

Deron Williams is finally off the books, for The Brooklyn Nets
Bobby Bonilla continues to fleece The New York Mets
A big week for hilarious contracts, we have to say
Good for Deron Williams, and Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

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.