Even on the holiday week, when there is plenty to be thankful for, I’m still pouring the hot gravy all over the sporting world.
Ah yes, Thanksgiving. The time to enjoy a bountiful feast, drink plenty of craft beers and enjoy seeing family and friends and avoid talking about the election. Good times, good times. So with all that said, I need to head into the holiday weekend with some takes hotter than the turkey out of the oven. You can enjoy this dish as seconds if you want to read last week’s edition first. (You should)
1. Vegas Golden Knights – ok name, awesome logo
Our long, national nightmare is over. Since June, the Las Vegas NHL franchise has kept under wraps what their team name will be. And, as the expansion/relocated franchise aficionado around these parts, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles. So on Tuesday, the name was finally revealed. Albeit with some major technical glitches and a rousing booing of Gary Bettman, we finally figured out what the 31st NHL franchise will be called.
Aces Golden Knights.
I get the Knights interest from owner Bill Foley. He’s an Army guy with ties to West Point. It’s a double entendre with Vegas being the nightlife capital of the world. I get it, I get it. While it was revealed that the final three names were all going to consider the Knights moniker, I was pulling for Desert Knights, just because it’s different and hits home on the geography of the city.
Overall the name is simply meh for me, but that logo is fucking sexy. I think Adidas (remember, they’re taking over NHL jerseys next year) and the team did a damn good job of distinguishing these Golden Knights from those at Central Florida. The V in the negative space gets the Vegas tie-in, and their secondary logo with the swords and the star is fantastic.
I’m a fan of the color scheme, including the desert/neon red, but I’m waiting to see what these jerseys look like before I give my final ruling. Don’t make them too gimmicky. And lord please don’t go the “Vegas Gold” that the Penguins tried for years. Black and gold is a great color scheme, so don’t add in too many extra things here. Overall, a solid B for this franchise before they step foot on the ice.
2. Thanksgiving is the only Thursday football we should have
We may have beaten the dead horse here at Chin Music Podcast about the quality of the NFL product, but I think it’s time to rehash it once again. Thanksgiving football is a time-honored tradition. Hell, even when I was a HS reporter I was making the trek to football fields across Massachusetts to cover games. It’s ingrained in the sport that playing on Thanksgiving is just a part of the schedule and tradition.
So now that we have the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions on their annual holiday home game, and then the nightcap wrapping up the day, it brings me back to the whole crux of the argument.
Should the NFL play on Thursdays? My answer: only on Thanksgiving.
This American holiday is meant to be sitting around the dinner table with the game on in the background. If you aren’t from the markets of the team’s that are playing, it means nothing, but it’s on simply because it’s there. At least now that the Cowboys and Lions are pretty good (‘member when the Lions went 0-16 and had to be on during Thanksgiving? I ‘member) it’ll be a watchable product with some playoff implications.
The games still act as a great distraction from any awkward dinner-time discussion about the presidential election or any other taboo topics, and now they’ll be competitive and exciting games to watch. And since it’s a tradition, let’s keep it that way. We can stop this bullshit of Tennessee and Jacksonville playing on a random Thursday each year in the fall. Keep it at Thanksgiving, and then keep football on Sundays. No more of this madness. Don’t want to get your turkey too stuffed.
3. Cheat (harder) like a Champion Today!
I think I made it perfectly clear in one of my earlier blogs/podcasts that I’m a Notre Dame hater. It’s nowhere near as bad as my lust for Penn State, but I loathe the Fighting Irish. I hate Penn State for obvious reasons. My Notre Dame hatred stems from their arrogance, and “time-honored tradition” of being the different Division I football program that holds players to a higher standard than the others.
Well guess what, the carpet just got fucking yanked out from under their feet, and I couldn’t be happier. The NCAA coming down on Notre Dame for academic sanctions during their 2012 and 2013 seasons is too perfect. Not only was 2012 the most successful season for Notre Dame in the last 25 years, but it ended with a thud to a program that sure as shit doesn’t hide the fact that their players are there to play football first, and get an education second.
That’s what drives me most nuts about Notre Dame. They’re held to a higher standard by the rest of the country because of the BS that’s fed to us by their exclusive broadcasting deal with NBC. Cut the shit. We know that Notre Dame cooks the books and takes liberties with their student athletes like every other major, competitive, and often elite DI institution. I would have a lot more respect for the program if they just stopped trying to con the rest of the country into their “Play Like a Champion Today” mantra instead of just doing it like every other program.
So while the 2012 National Championship Game disaster against Alabama may be officially wiped from the record books, we’ll never forget how the Fighting Irish were outclassed by a superior team on national television. Good times, good times.
4. How are players selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot?
Minus the rising possibility of a baseball lockout on the horizon, the other big news coming out of MLB this week was the release of the new players on the Hall of Fame ballot. There are some big-name players from my childhood that I can’t get enough of: Manny Ramirez and Vladimir Gurrerro in particular, and then there are some players that have be questioning the Baseball Hall of Fame in general.
Other plays up for induction in Cooperstown in 2017 include: Melvin Mora, Casey Blake, Derek Lee, Tim Wakefield. Wait, what? How are any of these guys even sniffing votes? Like I get that they had some good, maybe even some great seasons, but why do they need to be included so snobby HOF writers can refuse to vote for steroid guys?
That’s the thing that pisses me off with this whole process. If baseball writers want to have some morality clause for the players, that’s on them. But why are we allowing options in the form of the players I named above? Do they actually have a chance at getting into the Hall of Fame? I sure as shit don’t think so.
If some of these players get voted in by the Veteran’s Committee so be it, but let’s not water down the ballot while the real stars have to wait years for enshrinement.
5. The NBA Christmas uniforms stink
So I know I’m early with this take, but it’s the holiday season. I’ve been force fed Christmas music and decorations since the beginning of November. Time to join in on the fun.
Like the NFL and Thanksgiving, the NBA loves to play on a major holiday and showcase the game. Their Christmas schedule is ever expanding, and usually features some good matchups. This year is no different, as the Warriors and Cavs battle, the Lakers and Clippers show down, and the Celtics take on the Knicks. All in all, some good games that even me, the resident non-basketball fan here, can get behind and excited about.
But, the turd in the punch bowl is the uniforms. The NBA, already making the jump to having ads on the jerseys starting next year, decided to standardize each uniform with a cursive script and a team color. Boo I say to you, boo.
The old Christmas jerseys, with sleeves and other funky designs, were unique. They weren’t just manufactured with nickname/location spelled out across the chest. It’s a cop-out, and a way for the league to standardize the design without much thought, and then make a boat load of money off of it by selling them.
Get creative, have fun with it. Don’t just say sure, here’s the jersey with a new font and Merry Christmas. Yawn.
That’ll do it for me. I’ll be back next week with some more hot takes for your Wednesday reading enjoyment. Follow Tim on Twitter@culvey13 for more, or to tell me I’m a moron. Either way, have at it, and Happy Thanksgiving.