Running off the keyboard…
- Earlier this week, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins turned 30 years old. No longer “the Kid,” Crosby has captained 3 Stanley Cup winners, 2 Olympic gold medal squads, and 1 World Cup of Hockey gold medal winner. Individually, Sid has collected 2 Conn Smythe trophies, 2 Hart Trophy (MVP) trophies, 3 Ted Lindsay trophies (best player as voted by the players), 2 Art Ross trophies (scoring title) and 2 Maurice Richard trophies (most goals). Throw in his 6th ranked all-time points per game average of 1.31 in an era when goals are difficult to come by and how can anyone deny that Crosby isn’t at least in the conversation for top 5 players of all-time? He has accomplished all of this before age 30 and is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny the greatness of number eighty-seven.
- The quarterback position is in such an interesting spot in today’s NFL. It’s a league where a regular starter like Colin Kaepernick can’t find a job yet lousy signal callers like Jay Cutler and Mike Glennon are being entrusted with the keys of their teams. Some teams seem to never be able to find a franchise guy (Browns, Jets, Bills, Jaguars) while others have had an elite QB since the turn of the 21st century (Packers, Colts). Speaking of great players under center, Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, Brees, and Eli are sure-fire Hall of Famers with guys like Rivers, Ryan, Flacco (injured), and Wilson owning resumes that will put them in the conversation someday. There are number one overall picks who could be entering their primes in Luck and Newton and second year studs like Prescott and Wentz that could end up owning this league in the near future. Throw in very good yet never fully trusted guys like Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton into the conversation and we are approaching another fun year of quarterbacking.
- There are few things more pointless in sports than the preseason polls for college football. It is one thing for the sports media to rank and predict who they think will be the best teams as a way of getting the schools and fans hyped, but a whole other thing for teams who have yet to play a game to all of a sudden be officially ranked. No surprise to me that only one Group of 5 (G5) school was ranked (the Cows of West Florida), because we all know that all 24 Power 5 (P5) teams sitting in the polls are so much greater than any of the other 65 G5 teams. Give me a break! The G5 had three teams ranked in the final Coaches Poll in 2014, 2015, and 2016. While three is not significantly more than one, it’s just one example of the P5 bias in the polls. Not surprising was how many of the P5 schools rewarded by name recognition were well overrated last season. As someone always looking to make sports better, I propose not ranking anyone until we’re at least 4 weeks into the season. Make these schools earn it on the field!