How Will Coronavirus Affect the Sporting World and its Fans?

The current pandemic of coronavirus that has occurred has truly changed the future of sports as we see it for 2020 and beyond. The NBA decided to have a hiatus after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert contracted the virus, which then led to many NCAA Conference tournaments being cancelled, which led to March Madness being cancelled. Then, the MLB had their season start postponed for at least 2 weeks, and the MLS has been shut down for at least 30 days. Around the world, the Premier League has been shut down until April after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for Coronavirus. The Bundesliga, Ligue 1, LaLiga, Champions League, Europa League, and all country-run tournaments have been shut down until April. Not only has the sports world been affected, but the real world as well. Currently, many of the States in the US have gone into States of Emergencies, colleges are online for the rest of the semester, and in places like Italy, you cannot leave your house unless for an emergency. Here is what the effects of what has transpired will be, and what more we can expect to happen, not just in our country, but throughout the world:

Did NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Save Sports As We Currently See It?

I do not believe many people would have thought that sports being shut down in the United States was even imaginable if it were not for Adam Silver having suspended the NBA. The important thing to realize is that Adam Silver did the best thing possible by suspending the NBA season. The importance of keeping the players, coaches, front office, team staff, media, and fans safe is far more important than the remaining 20+ regular season games plus playoffs. Not only did Silver suspend the season, but he already came up with a plan for how players and teams must react over the ‘minimum of 30 days’ hiatus.

The reason why it is important to note how important this gesture was by Adam Silver is the fact that every major league in our country followed suit. The NCAA Conferences cancelled their basketball tournaments and all other sporting tournaments, as did the NCAA with March Madness and their championships, the MLB postponed their start by at least 2 weeks, the MLS and NHL shut down for a month, and the NFL, while their season is over, is discussing ways to change the NFL Draft. Also, multiple tennis tournaments supposed to happen in the US have been cancelled, and now even the French Open, and The Masters’ have been postponed.

Did Rudy Gobert Also Contribute to Saving Sports Now?

I know a lot of people have been giving Gobert a lot of hate for how he handled the situation and for originally taking the whole notion of Coronavirus and social distancing as a joke, but he has since owned up to it, made public statements, and donated money in order to let people know that this is very serious indeed. But if GObert did not get Coronavirus, Silver wouldn’t have suspended the NBA season and no leagues would have followed (at least in the United States). So, indirectly, Rudy Gobert did help out with that. But this should be a lesson to everyone to practice social distancing, keep your hands to your own belongings, and if you do touch someone else’s belongings, to wash your hands and clean the things that you use frequently.

Will and When Will the 2020 Olympics Happen?

Honestly, while I do think the Olympics will happen, the question is of when. There is currently talk of many Olympic qualifiers being cancelled (not even postponed), such as the 2020 Euros and Copa America for soccer now happening in 2021. As of this past week, the Olympics are scheduled to go on as scheduled, but the talk of postponing them is very serious. Honestly, I think the best option is to hold the Olympics in 2021 after all the qualifiers which are now getting postponed to 2021 are happening.

How Would the NFL Draft Take Place?

So, before the outbreak of coronavirus, the NFL Draft was set to take place in Las Vegas at the Fountains of Bellagio, but now no one seems to know what is going to be the alternative option. Players and families will definitely be asked to stay home, and the NFL has already said there will be no fans present. I am not really sure what the NFL is going to do about it, but I have seen that they are discussing what to do, as they have already indefinitely cancelled OTAs and free agency visits.

How Do College Athletes Get Affected?

The NCAA had announced a few days back that all spring sports players are getting what is called a ‘Redshirt Corona Year’ (not the official name, but it is the name that spring sports athletes used in order to plead for this to be taken into effect), meaning that now all spring sports athletes will have an additional year of eligibility, and that this lost year will not affect them. So, while academically they can move on, athletically their eligibility will not be affected.

When Will the NBA Come Back, and Will the NFL Be Affected?

The current talks are that the NBA could come back around July and end in August, but whether this means that the regular season will continue or not remains to be seen. NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie suggested that we have a 28-team tournament in replacement of the NBA Playoffs, almost as if we are making the NBA Playoffs like March Madness, and the NBA is taking that into consideration. On a more serious note, the NBA is discussing permanently starting the season on Christmas Day, as they did during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. That season ended like regular in June and the regular season was cut down to 66 games. Whether or not that is the new format of the regular season remains to be seen, but how this season plays out is so vital to the future of the NBA.

As for the NFL, with OTAs now cancelled, the talk of training camp being cancelled as well and going straight into preseason is a very real possibility. Assuming that the statement made from the White House that the Coronavirus lasts until July or August, training camp would be cancelled, and the NFL would have either have the choice of going straight to preseason or skip preseason and go into training camp in order to avoid player injury. With the new 14-team playoff being put into effect this upcoming season, avoiding player injury is more vital than ever, and with a 17-game regular season starting as soon as 2021, this coming season could be a way to see how shortened or no preseason would work out.

A General PSA

As I am writing this, I am currently at home with my family doing my best to practice social distancing and preventing the spread of Coronavirus. This virus is very scary, so I highly encourage everyone to please stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible. With many grade school and college students now finishing the rest of their semesters at home, and with many people working their jobs from home, it is imperative that we realize the seriousness of this. Sure, there are times when we will need to go out places and see people and go study or work, but health always comes first. So please, I encourage everyone reading this to please wash your hands constantly, practice best health and hygiene, practice social distancing, try to avoid big gatherings and going traveling or eating out, and most importantly, realize that this isn’t a joke and that we can go on with life, even though these tough times are upon us.

2019-20 NCAA College Football Playoff Semifinals Predictions

The New Year’s Eve fireworks will be arriving a little earlier this year, as the College Football Playoff Semifinals get set to kick off this Saturday. Clemson and Oklahoma return to the stage with Clemson being the defending champion, and Oklahoma returning for the 3rdconsecutive year. This year, however, LSU enters the playoff for the first time and dethrones their SEC counterpart in Alabama, and Ohio State returns to the place they thought they should have been last year. This year also features a new feat, where 3 transfer quarterbacks (Joe Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State to LSU; Jalen Hurts, who transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma; and Justin Fields, who transferred from Georgia to Ohio State), are leading their teams into the College Football Playoff. So, will it be a transfer quarterback leading their team to a championship, or will Trevor Lawrence lead Clemson to a repeat?

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: #4 Oklahoma vs. #1 LSU, 4PM EST, ESPN

The first game to kick off the playoff will be the battle of the Heisman winner and runner-up, Burrow and Hurts. This will be Hurts’ fourth time in the College Football Playoff (technically his third since he was backup and did not play last year, but it is his 4thsince he was with Alabama the past 3 years), with his 7thOffensive Coordinator (he had 5 different coordinators at Alabama and two Co-Offensive Coordinators at Oklahoma), coming off his third Conference Championship win. In terms of winning, overcoming adversity, and constantly playing the underdog role, Jalen Hurts might be the most decorated college football player ever. He is the true definition of a winner. While many scouts believe he is not the most NFL-ready QB, he certainly deserves the shot to be a starter on an NFL team come next season after he is drafted.

On the other side is Joe Burrow, Heisman-winning QB who has broken every SEC passing record in the book by a healthy margin, will be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals come April, and will lead the heavily-favored LSU into the Peach Bowl as the #1 team in the country. But things didn’t come that easy for Burrow. Burrow in 2017 was part of the Ohio State College Football Playoff team, where he played backup behind JT Barrett and Dwayne Haskins. At the time, not many people knew who he was, as he was a 3rd-string QB who had been redshirted. In 2018, Ohio State looked to life after Barrett, and then-Head Coach Urban Meyer, chose Dwayne Haskins well before the season began, leading Burrow to go into the transfer process, where LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron, served him to a lobster dinner and got him. Burrow last season led a struggling LSU offense that could barely put up 27 points in a game. This year, under new Offensive Coordinator Joe Barry, he leads the nation’s #1 offense, and has two 1,000+ yard receivers to throw to in JaMarr Chase and Justin Jefferson, and a 1,000+ rusher in Clyde-Edwards Helaire (whom he may not have on Saturday due to injury). The transcendence of Burrow has been one of the most unexpected, but the story is incredible.

Now, to the game. Oklahoma’s wide receiving core, led by CeeDee Lamb, who is regarded by many including me as the best receiver in college football and the upcoming NFL Draft, will cause problems for Derek Stingley and Grant Delpit, the best cornerback and safety in the country, respectively. His speed and quickness is almost Tyreek Hill-like, as he has the ability to take any pass to the house. The problem here for Oklahoma’s offense come with the running backs, who will be led by redshirt sophomore Kennedy Brooks. Brooks is getting the starting nod after Trey Sermon had a season-ending injury midseason against Iowa State, and after Rhamandore Stevenson was one of 3 Sooners players suspended for failed drug tests. Brooks is a great back, but not good enough to lead an already-fringe running game. Hurts will be required to put his head down and run with the ball himself quite a bit, which, as great of a runner as he is, is exactly what LSU wants, is for their linebackers to stop the run and not have to worry about helping out too much in the passing game.

For LSU, the running game will most likely feature Edwards-Helaire (according to Coach O), but even if they don’t have him available, the three backup running backs have had healthy doses of experience in the offense this season and have been very effective in scoring touchdowns, with 9 TDs between the 3 of them. As far as defenses, don’t expect too much of it, this will be a high-scoring game. But as I said earlier, the lack of ability to keep pace could haunt them, much it did for Oklahoma the past few years. Oklahoma is too thin in the run game, and does not have enough talent in the secondary to stop the core of Chase, Jefferson, Thaddeus Moss, and Terrace Marshall. Prediction: 49-41, LSU

Playstation Fiesta Bowl: #3 Clemson vs. #2 Ohio State, 8PM ET, ESPN

The defending champion Clemson Tigers find themselves playing in a playoff game rematch once again, but not against Alabama this time. Clemson instead is squaring off against Ohio State this year, the team with the nation’s best defense and best defensive player in Chase Young. Clemson has been decimated by the media the entire year for having an incredibly weak schedule for an elite Power 5 conference team, yet that criticism hasn’t slowed them down one bit. Coach Dabo Swinney has kept his mouth out of the media trap and instead focused on the field and players and looks to go for back-to-back 15-0 seasons. Trevor Lawrence has had a down year but really picked up last year’s form towards the end of the season, Travis Etienne keeps showing why he could be the best running back in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Brett Venables-led defense keeps feasting on opposing offenses.

Ohio State, on the other hand, has been Top 2 in the rankings ever since they went into Madison, Wisconsin and won 48-0 on Saturday Night Football back in October. Their electric defense has helped them sport a ball-control oriented offense that is run-first behind JK Dobbins and then uses a lot of 5-wide Spread to pass the ball out of with Justin Fields, a transfer QB from Georgia (Georgia is probably regretting benching him for Jake Fromm, which prompted Fields’ transfer request). Speaking of Fields, another Heisman finalist who has defied odds, he is coming into this game nursing a knee injury he suffered against Michigan back at the end of November, and it hasn’t shown too much improvement since. Fields had a great one-legged performance in the B1G Championship Game against Wisconsin in their 14-point comeback win, however, and despite the knee, looked good for most of the game. Much like in that game, Ohio State will use Dobbins on early downs, and then look towards their Fields and their receivers, such as KJ Hill Jr. and Chris Olave to make plays downfield.

This game comes down to running back play, Dobbins vs. Etienne. Whichever team can control the line of scrimmage better in this one will win the game, as ball control and clock management will be vital. Clemson often goes for this approach in semifinal games, and. Ohio State will need to use this in order to keep Fields healthy, because unlike in 2017, they do not have a Jalen Hurts or Joe Burrow-type guy on their bench that can come in and perform on the big stage. While on paper this matchup would favor Clemson, the Chase Young-led pass rush might be too much for Lawrence and could force him into throwing interceptions, something he has done often this season compared to last. Predcition: 34-31, Ohio State

NFL Draft QBs: Who Will Start? And When?

The NFL Draft featured Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Zack Mettenberger, and AJ McCarron. Here is where they will be in the depth chart.

Blake Bortles: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles will need some experience, even though he has a good skill set and IQ. Chad Henne is really the guy that Gus Bradley wants to start, and he wants to give Bortles time to develop a bit.

Prediction: Bortles starts by Week 5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnny Manziel: Cleveland Browns

Johnny Football, without Josh Gordon, will need to step up, and Brian Hoyer is predicted to lose the job to Johnny Football. Manziel is begging for the job, and he definitely is not Rookie of the Year.

Prediction: Johnny Football still starts in Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Teddy Bridgewater: Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater. Adrian Peterson. Cordarrelle Patterson. Kyle Rudolph. Greg Jennings. This team is destined for the playoffs. There is not much competition in Minneapolis, so Bridgewater has the easiest time of all of these QBs.

Prediction: Bridgewater starts in Week 1 @ Rams

Jimmy Garoppolo: New England Patriots

New England has the perfect backup for Brady. Brady said that he may consider retirement in the next few years, so Garoppolo would be the perfect fit as the starter come rebuilding mode.

Prediction: Garoppolo starts in Week 17 vs. Buffalo Bills

Derek Carr: Oakland Raiders

Carr will have to battle Matt Schaub and Terrelle Pryor, who are probably the 2 worst QBs football fans have ever seen (I’ve never seen worse). Derek Carr has an easy path to success.

Prediction: Carr starts Week 1 @ NY Jets

Zack Mettenberger: Tennessee Titans

Mettenberger has the strongest arm of them all, but will he start? Jake Locker will give him a tough test. Locker is the player whom many fans and players see as a franchise QB, but with coach Ken Whisenhunt, it’s worth dodging the bullet soon.

Prediction: Mettenberger starts Week 1 @ Kansas City Chiefs.

AJ McCarron: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals said that they think McCarron will be the starter, yet they do not want to get rid of Andy Dalton. After what Dalton did last year in the AFC Wild Card Round against the Chargers, the Bengals may be ready to part ways with him.

Prediction: McCarron starts Week 1 @ Baltimore Ravens

My NFL 2014 Mock Draft: My First 10 Picks

The NFL Draft is full of questionable picks. Here are my first 10 picks.

Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney: DE, South Carolina

Clowney has lived up to all of the expectations. The Houston D will be unstoppable with him and JJ Watt.

2.   St. Louis Rams: Teddy Bridgewater: QB, Louisville

Bridgewater is a solid QB who will replace Sam Bradford. There is tons of doubt in Bridgewater due to his struggles at the draft combine, and not running the 40-yard dash, yet he still is the best quarterback in the NFL Draft this year. He should use his sensational season at Louisville as a bit of motivation towards his NFL career.

3.   Jacksonville Jaguars: Sammy Watkins: WR, Clemson

The Jags need a go-to receiver for Chad Henne. His name is Sammy Watkins, the best receiver in the draft.

4.   Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel: QB, Texas A&M

Cleveland needs a QB, and Manziel is the answer to that. Manziel is a QB who has been all over the radar this year, and he will be great for this organization.

5.   Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson: OL, Auburn

Robinson is a hard-nosed, SEC offensive lineman who will protect Matt Schaub.

6.   Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack: OLB, Buffalo

Mack at one point was considered a top 2 pick, but he’ll thrive alongside Osi Umeniyora in Atlanta.

7.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans: WR, Texas A&M

Manziel’s favorite target will now become Mike Glennon’s favorite.

8.   Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr: OLB, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)

Barr is a hard-hitting player who will ignite the Vikings, despite the loss of star DE Jared Allen (now on the Bears).

9.   Buffalo Bills: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: FS, Alabama

Clinton-Dix is not a player who intercepts passes, but he can lockdown any player he covers, and is good when blitzing the quarterback.

10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert: CB, Oklahoma State (OSU)

Gilbert is probably the best cornerback in a draft since Patrick Peterson (Cardinals). He will lockdown all receivers at all costs.

The 2013 NBA Draft Top 5 Picks: Rethought

The 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn certainly was the craziest of all drafts. If I were the GM of any of these teams, here is who I would have picked.

Number 1, Cleveland Cavs: Anthony Bennett, UNLV, SF/PF

Bennett was a surprise pick in the draft, and Cavs fans have no idea what to say. Here is what GM Chris Grant said “As we did our evaluations throughout the entire year, we just kept coming back to his ability and his talent and how it fit with our guys, a lot of times, like last year, it’s just clear cut. But for us, through the year, we always had him very high in our rankings and as we went back and reviewed the film and went on campus and visited everybody, we came away saying he’s a great kid. He’s willing to work and do the right things and he’s got a bunch of talent.”

My call: I too would have picked Bennett because Noel rarely played due to an ACL injury.

Number 2, Orlando Magic: Victor Oladipo, Indiana, SG/PG

Oladipo is an explosive 2-guard who can get it done in the clutch. Orlando needed a reliable 2-guard after Hedo Turkoglu and Arron Afflalo. His weakness is his assist-to-turnover ratio.

My call: I too would have picked Oladipo because of his ability to shoot the ball well.

Number 3, Washington Wizards: Otto Porter, Georgetown, SF/PF

Porter had all defenses on their heels during big-time games. He is a 6’9” Small Forward who scores like a 6’6” Shooting Guard, and spreads the floor like a 6’1” Point Guard.

My call: I too would have picked Porter so that I would have a good replacement in the starting lineup for Trevor Ariza and Jan Vesely, and he scores BIG in the clutch.

Number 4, Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets: Cody Zeller, Indiana, C/PF

Zeller is a player who has a great post game, as well as a knack of making free throws (75.7% free throw shooter).

My call: I would have picked Ben McLemore because they NEED a clutch shooter to be able to win games.

Number 5, Phoenix Suns: Alex Len, Maryland, C

Len is a physical player who needs to show he can play since he missed the Draft Combine with an ankle injury.

My call: I would have picked Trey Burke because of his great shooting and physicality that the team needs that the Suns need, and Len will NOT bring that physicality.



Anthony Bennett after being chosen by the Cavs.

NFL Mock Draft 1.1: 1st 10 picks

I did a mock draft after week 9, but that was a bit to early to make some predictions. Here is NFL Mock Draft 1.1 (with the 1st 10 picks). The draft is from April 25th-27th.

1st Pick: Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan;

He is the best option because of the weak O-Line that he has. If they don’t draft him, Alex Smith and the Chiefs will give their fans a hard time to breath.

2nd pick: Jacksonville Jaguars, Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon;

Sharrif Floyd is an option, but he just is not as aggressive as Dion Jordan. I’m a huge Stanford fan, so I watch Stanford-Oregon every single year. Jordan just impresses me so much by the fact that he is the 1st one to hit the QB, EVERY SINGLE TIME DOWN THE FIELD. He is the ideal fit for a terrible D.

3rd pick: Oakland Raiders, Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida;

Floyd is the perfect pick because he brings a lot of help to DT Richard Seymour.

4th pick: Philadelphia Eagles, Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia;

Smith is a QB that all fans enjoy. Also, Mike Vick seems like a wierdo that can just throw INTs, and seems a little like Tebow, a lefty that just can’t complete a pass. He threw 8 TDs, and 656 yards in a 70-63 win over Baylor, so Eagles fans, start chanting “GENO SMITH!” when it’s time for the Eagles to make a pick in the draft

5th pick: Detroit Lions, Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M;

With Joeckel protecting Stafford, the Lions could repeat their 2011-2012 playoff run.

6th pick: Cleveland Browns, Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama;

Man, Milliner can be a lockdown D-fender (defender). He is the perfect way for the Browns to fill in their D and add on with CB Joe Haden.

7th pick: Arizona Cardinals, Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma;

Johnson can protect his QB as well as he protected Landry Jones.

8th pick: Buffalo Bills, Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC;

Cooper will be a great fit because of his speed, and blocking ability. He also bring a lot of strong D to the Bills (not to mention he’s 6’2”, 311 lbs).

9th pick: NY Jets, Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia;

Jones is a great player, breaking many Georgia records and SEC records. He will help one of the worst D’s from last year, and turn them into one of the most intimidating.

10th pick: Tennessee Titans, Ezekiel (Ziggy) Ansah, BYU;

Ansah only had 4.5 sacks last season, but that’s not the case here. What makes him intimidating is that he’s a 6’5”, 271 lbs linebacker who has huge hands and arms.