SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS JANUARY 26
By Leo Haggerty
DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE
PEOPLE IN ATHLETICS WITH MONEY GETTING A DUI
This is my pet peeve so bear with me please. There should never, and I reiterate the word never, be a time when a professional athlete or coach or a collegiate coach gets a DUI.
The latest act of stupidity was performed by the newly-hired University of Oregon co-offensive coordinator David Reaves. The former University of South Florida coach, who has been on the job in Eugene for just five days, was pulled over early Sunday morning for Driving Under the Influence.
He was charged with DUI and posted bond but that’s not going to help. The University of Oregon has placed Coach Reaves on administrative leave while they start the process of terminating his employment with cause.
I cannot feel sorry for Coach Reaves or any other athlete/coach that drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs especially after midnight. With all sorts of options for late-night transportation, there is no excuse for not calling for a ride when you’ve imbibed to excess.
My dad told me nothing good happens after midnight and that is so true. Also, there’s nothing wrong with having a good time out on the town. Just be responsible enough to know when you’ve past your limit to drive and find an alternate way home. Your life, and the lives of my children, depend on it.
Yeah, I know that everybody wants to anoint either Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers for MVP but, in my opinion, this award has to go to Atlanta QB Matt Ryan. The main reason the Falcons are going to Houston to play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI is #2, period.
The Falcon signal-caller has been at the helm of the most high-powered offense in the National Football League this season. Hot-lanta led the NFL in scoring (502 points) as well as points per drive (3.01) plus other statistical categories (DVOA for example) that would take me an entire article to explain. To put this in perspective, there have only been two other offenses since 1997 (2007 New England Patriots and 2011 Green Bay Packers) that have averaged over 3.0 points per drive. That, ladies and gentlemen, is making the scoreboard light up.
Ryan, of course, was the trigger man for the offense. He led the NFL in passing yards per attempt (9.26), yards per completion (13.3), and touchdown pass percentage (6.8 percent), and his 115.5 passer rating would rank fifth in NFL history. That’s consistency, folks.
If you scoff at passer rating, then Ryan’s 8.90 adjusted net yards per pass attempt is also currently the fifth-highest season in league history. The former Boston College product has turned the 8-8 Falcons of 2015 into an 11-5 offensive juggernaut in 2016 that is one step from taking home the Lombardi Trophy.
Don’t get me wrong. Brady and Rodgers have had MVP years. It’s just that Ryan has had a better one in the eyes of this humble scribe.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Wow, have the Lakers fallen off the map when it comes to even being competitive in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association. The are floundering in the Pacific Division cellar with a 16-32 record and so far behind division-leading Golden State that LA needs a telescope to see the Warriors who are 23 1/2 games in front of them.
Everyone knew that with the retirement of future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant Los Angeles would take a step backwards. I don’t think new HC Luke Walton, who came from the uber-successful Warriors up the coast, thought that it would be a giant leap in the wrong direction.
The final embarrassment happened this Sunday in Dallas. The once-proud Showtime franchise was on the wrong end of a 49-point drubbing at the hands of the Southwest division cellar-dwelling Mavericks. The 122-73 beat-down was the worst loss in Laker history.
Walton has a monumental job in getting the ship righted at the Staples Center. Right now, it doesn’t help that the Lakers are the second-best team in LA being light years behind their division-rival and building-sharing Clippers. Also it doesn’t bode well that they’re in an extremely tough Pacific Division and in the uber-competitive Western Conference that features the likes of the San Antonio Spurs along with the Houston Rockets plus the Utah Jazz as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sure looks like a daunting task to me. How tough? Let me throw this question out at you. What happens first? The Lakers winning an NBA title or Tiger Woods winning another major golf championship? Or, none of the above.
Interesting scenario. My vote is for the latter.
LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF EXPANSION
The Crystal Ball is in perfect focus for this one. It says don’t expect any changes in the CFP four-team format in the near future.
The only ones that are “shouting from the top of the mountain” to expand the current system to eight or more teams are the media. Their argument is that it would make seven bowl games relevant instead of the three current ones.
All you need to do is ask the players and coaches at the non-CFP bowls if they’re relevant. Coaches will tell you every game is relevant and that this is a reward for having a successful season. Also, they get at least another two weeks of practice to get the underclassmen ready for spring practice.
Players, especially seniors who are playing their last game for their alma mater, have a chance to be with their teammates and coaches for one final time. Trust me, my friends, that is huge. You never forget the last time you put on the pads and that’s first hand knowledge.
Here’s why it won’t happen for at least another 10 years. The NCAA doesn’t want it because it would damage the bowl setup and that’s messin’ with big money. Even more importantly, the vast majority of coaches want no parts of it. That’s a 16-game schedule for the two teams in the National Championship game. In the eyes of the coaches, that’s way too much for a non-professional player.
When I asked the Crystal Ball this question, one statement came through in complete and total clarity. It was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and I emphatically agree.
With that, the Crystal Ball rests.