Do you know what 440 is, sports fans? It is roughly the amount of hours left until the Green Packers and defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks kick off the NFL season. I almost did the calculations in minutes because that’s just how boring this week in sports was. But, as always, we here at Wayniac Nation always find the lighter side in sports to bring you all that you need to know about the week that was.
Strange things are afoot at the Big K! It’s time to break up the Royals, folks! Kansas City baseball is alive and well for the first time in two decades and two things are for certain. Jay Scott is euphoric and Ted Reed (Wayniac Nation’s acclaimed Tigers’ fan) is pissed! The Royals have strung together another solid week and are now 12-3 in the month of August. James Shields leads one of the hottest, and arguably best, young pitching staffs in the American League. Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas, and Yordano Ventura make runs hard to come by for opposing teams. The Detroit Tigers, in response, have signed possibly the worst closer/ reliever in baseball, Jim Johnson, to bolster their pitiful excuse of a bullpen. I have said it before and I will say it again. Detroit is where closers go to die. While many people are surprised with this Royal explosion, I, like a master Sith Lord, hath foreseen this before way back in March. Just in case you forgot, here were my AL Central predictions. The surging Royals are prime examples of a changing of the guard in the MLB. The Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles are in first place and Robin Yount and Cal Ripken, Jr. retired years ago.
Of course the biggest news was that for the first time since the strike of 1994, baseball will see a new commissioner. This past Thursday, Wes Mantooth, I mean Rob Manfred was elected to succeed Bud Selig as the Commander in Chief of America’s Pastime. Munchkins around the world rejoiced in a singing of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, white doves flew across the sky and rainbows erupted everywhere across the nation. Manfred, in his opening speech, vowed to turn around baseball and bring back the most important thing the game has lacked the last few years… STEROIDS!
The Clowney watch continued this week in the NFL. Jadeveon Clowney barely played to the halfway point of the first quarter Saturday night, but on back to back plays continued to justify his worth as the first overall pick. One play after nearly decapitating Falcons’ running back Antone Smith, Clowney registered his first professional sack of Matt Ryan. I know what you are going to say. It was against the Falcons sorry excuse of an offensive line, so we should take these efforts in stride. I don’t care if it is preseason, I don’t care if it is flag football, Clowney is going to be fun to watch, which is less than I can say with any certainty about the rest of my Houston Texans.
The rookie quarterback class continues to impress. Zach Mettenberger lit up the Saints in his return to New Orleans. Blake Bortles continues to outplay Chad Henne and click with the Jaguars, yet the Jags insist he will not play this season. Derek Carr is outplaying Matt Shaub. What happened to Shaub? This guy is one year removed from being a consistent 4,000 yard passer with a high completion percentage and he can’t complete passes to uncovered receivers in practice? We are watching the Chuck Knoblauch of football in action. Johnny Manziel is set to take on Robert Griffin III on Monday night, and call it a hunch, but I foresee him outplaying Brain Hoyer. Matt Shaub can outplay Brian Hoyer.
Across the pond, the Barclay’s Premier League kicked off its season on Saturday. My Tottenham HotSpur salvaged a victory in the final minute of injury time to open the season in first place in the BPL. Champions League, here we come! Defending champion Manchester City was up 1-0 on Newcastle at the time of this writing and are showing no signs of not competing for the Final Four yet again. The once mighty Man U continues their fall into obscurity, losing their 2014 season opener to Swansea City. Burnley FC makes their BPL debut against Chelsea later Sunday. They must be so thankful. That’s like an NBDL team getting promoted to the NBA and having to square off against the San Antonio Spurs in their first game ever. Welcome to the big show, losers!
The feel good story of the week comes out of the WNBA. Phoenix Mercury star center Brittney Griner and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson were engaged this past week. This marks the first time in sports history that spouses will actually have to face off against each other on opposing teams. I actually think that may be kind of interesting to watch and I may watch the first few minutes of women’s professional basketball in my life. The most amazing part of this story? I actually had something to report out of the WNBA and the NHL still brings nothing to the table.
Anyone else think its a bit odd that a mere day after Wayniac Nation’s golf expert Mike Dunton wrote his Open Letter to Tom Watson from Tiger Woods, Tiger decided to withdraw from the Ryder’s Cup? Where are you getting your info from these days, Tiger? Just sayin’…
Lastly, from the NBA, LeBron James got another toy for his bunch in Cleveland. Shawn Marion has reportedly agreed to sign with the Cavs for the veteran minimum and accept a bench role to try and lock up one more championship before he realizes The Matrix is closing on him. It is a key move, but I still think a healthy Derrick Rose will help the Chicago Bulls take the Eastern Conference. When it comes down to it, Tom Thibodeau is a better head coach than Bron… I mean, David Blatt.