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 Heisman Watch: Does Chase Young Deserve Heisman Consideration?

Yesterday marked a day in which this year’s Heisman contenders shined brightest. LSU QB Joe Burrow hit 4,000 yards passing for the season and became the 4thSEC QB to do so after torching Arkansas for 327 yards and 3 TDs. Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts kept playoff hopes alive for the Sooners with 173 yards and 2 TDs rushing, along with 145 yards and 2 TDs through the air in a gutsy 28-24 win over TCU. Oregon QB Justin Herbert ended all consideration for himself winning the award with a loss to the lowly Arizona State, despite his 304 yards and 2 TDs. The biggest standout from yesterday was the most dominant player in college football, Ohio State DE Chase Young, who after a short suspension over a loan from a family-friend cost him a few games, came back in full force, with 9 tackles, including 3 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. Despite his dominance, which has featured 16.5 sacks and 7 forced fumbles for him throughout the season, will he get Heisman consideration, and does he deserve it despite being a defensive player? Here are my 3 candidates for the Heisman and who I believe will win.

Player Profile: Chase Young

College football’s most dominant player has simply everything you could ask for in a defensive lineman. Size, speed, power and finesse moves on the edge, and a strong tackling ability. Well Chase Young has that and then some. As I mentioned earlier, his season has been shortened by 2 games due to the suspension, so he has put up all of these stats in just 9 games. Numbers like that are almost unheard of from any defensive end in college, which brings up the point of the Heisman Trophy. The last defensive player to win a Heisman was Desmond Howard, but him also having played a little wide receiver helped him out in his case for the Heisman. But other than Howard, no defensive player has ever won the trophy, and only 3 non-quarterbacks have won it. So, while he most definitely deserves to at least be one of the 3 Heisman candidates, do not expect him to win it.

Player Profile: Joe Burrow

My, oh my, has Joe Burrow been terrific. Going into this season as the reigning Fiesta Bowl MVP and having led the Tigers to a 10-3 season, the expectation was more of the same from Burrow and Co., but Burrow had other ideas. LSU currently sports the No. 1 rank, an 11-0 record, and the deadliest offense in football, with 1 4,000-yard passer in Burrow, a 1,000-yard rusher in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and 2 1,000-yard receivers in JaMarr Chase and Justin Jefferson. Burrow also has the 3rd-most TDs thrown by an SEC QB with 41 already this season (he needs 4 more TDs to break the single-season TD record), and his passing yardage total puts him 4thAll-Time amongst SEC passers (he needs just 262 more yards to break the single-season passing yardage record). With these records he is about to break, he is the clear front-runner and should probably win the Heisman. If Chase Young wasn’t suspended for 2 games and he could have a chance to break records, then the race between them would be closer. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

Player Profile: Jalen Hurts

If you asked me before the season who my Heisman pick was (aside from Tua), I would have said Jalen Hurts, and everyone would have thought I was crazy, but Hurts has had a Heisman-candidate worthy season. He has thrown for 3,184 yards, 30 TDs, 6 picks, is 4thin the nation in QBR, and has run for 1,156 yards and an outrageous 17 TDs, all of these numbers are a career-best in any full season he has played. Oh, and he has been the ‘Comeback King’ of the season, including the illustrious 28-3 comeback last weekend at Baylor. Hurts has proven every doubter wrong and goes into the NFL Draft this coming April as a guy who teams can build around yet wait until the 2ndor 3rdround to get. Very comparable to the career Dak Prescott had at Mississippi State. As far as his Heisman chances, had guys like Burrow and Young had seasons like this in another year, then he would be the frontrunner, but unfortunately not this year.

My Heisman Pick

Joe Burrow. The way he came out of nowhere into the Heisman conversation, the fact that the SEC QB record books will have his name all over it, and the lack of love defensive players get in the Heisman consideration, he’s the clear frontrunner.

The College Football Playoff: Who’s Going to Tampa?

To think that 2016 is almost over, I must reflect on the great moments we have seen this year. We have seen the Golden State Warriors become the team with the most Ws in a season, to the team which took the biggest L in sports history, blowing a 3-1 lead. Villanova won the national championship in basketball on a buzzer-beater. Kevin Durant went to the Warriors, and they still couldn’t beat Cleveland on Christmas Day. The Orioles put in Ubaldo Jimenez instead of Zack Britton, and Edwin Encarnacion needed one swing for victory. The Chicago Cubs overcame a 3-1 lead to win their first World Series in 108 years. And Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington ALL will be in the College Football Playoff. A great way to end the year, here are my predictions for the 4 biggest college football games of the New Year’s Six.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: #4 Washington Huskies vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide

All I have heard since November when the season ended has been ‘Oh, Washington gonna win, they got a chance’, but everyone knows it will never happen. 2014 should be a reminder to all of us that Ohio State was a #4 team that obviously should have been ranked higher. Washington is NOTHING compared to that Ohio State team. That team had future NFLers in Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, and Michael Thomas. Also, Alabama’s defense wasn’t as good as the one we have this year, led by DE Jonathan Allen and CB Minkah Fitzpatrick. Washington QB Jake Browning can keep it high-scoring, but I wouldn’t think it would even be a one-score game at the end of it all. Alabama takes it 45-31.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl: #3 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. #2 Clemson Tigers

This game has got me seriously mind-boggled as to who will win, and this game will probably be a 1-point win by either team. In fact, this’ll come down to OT. You know what, make that multiple OTs. This game might as well never end. Clemson, led by QB Deshaun Watson, has proved again it will contend for a national championship, with its big-play RB Wayne Gallman, receivers Mike Williams, Jordan Leggett, and Hunter Renfrow, and defenders in LBs Ben Boulware, Kendall Joseph, and Safeties Jadar Johnson and Van Smith. Ohio State is led by QB JT Barrett, RB Mike Samuel, and WRs Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown, and Dontre Wilson. If one defense will break and lost the game for their team, it’ll be Ohio State, as they have been relatively thin due to injuries. Clemson wins 50-49.

 

 

March Madness: Possible Final Four Appearances; Part 2

As I have failed to get my 1st prediction correct after VCU’s loss, here is what I think the Final Four will be very crazy-looking.

Final Four Matchup 1: #15 FGCU (South) vs. #3 Marquette (East)

Cinderella will keep dancing on this night, and the glass slipper always fits. Sherwood Brown and the high-flying Eagles of FGCU beats Vander Blue’s Marquette Golden Eagles squad, 81-71

Final Four Matchup 2: #2 Duke (Midwest) vs. #2 Ohio State (West)

This will be a great game to watch, with the matchup between Seth Curry (Duke) and Aaron Craft (Ohio State). Craft can guard on the perimeter, while Curry can shoot effectively from the perimeter. Ohio State notches a big win. Final score: 78-77, Ohio State.

NCAA Championship Game: FGCU vs. Ohio State

Cinderella has made her story so far with FGCU, and no one will stop her from winning. Brett Comer and Sherwood Brown will come out strong for the Eagles.

AND THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS FOR THE 2012-2013 SEASON IS THE #15 SEED FLORIDA GULF COAST EAGLES!

 

March Madness: Possible Final Four, and NCAA Championship Appearances

This year is going to end on a crazy mark, with Indiana losing its composure and blowing its number 1 seed, and Georgetown now in the top 5, a possibility of defending champions Kentucky Wildcats not even making it to the tourney. Here is my prediction for the Final Four and the championship.

Final Four Match 1: #2 Ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (West) vs. #4 St. Louis Billikens (Midwest);

DeShaun Thomas and Aaron Craft will put on a show vs. St. Louis Billikens. They’ll win 64-59.

Final Four Matchup 2: #4 Ranked Marquette Golden Eagles (East) vs. #5 Ranked VCU Rams (South);

Shaka Smart is a great coach for VCU, and he sure knows how to drive his team to the Final Four, but this time, Senior Shooting Guard Troy Daniels will spoil Vander Blue’s dreams, and send VCU to the NCAA Championship Game easily, winning 88-68.

NCAA Championship Matchup: #5 Ranked VCU Rams (South) vs. #2 Ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (West)

VCU is in the championship zone. They will definitely try to put together another HUGE upset on the line.

Troy Daniels and DeShaun Thomas will be the stars of the show Classic NCAA Championship. And now, the 2013 Men’s NCAA Championship Winner is… 

VCU 

will beat Ohio State, 88-78, to claim the National Championship Title! 

The 2012-2013 NCAA Football Heisman Trophy Top 3 Predictions

There are many candidates for the Heisman Trophy and it will be very interesting to see who comes up on top. Here are my top 3 Heisman candidates.

1. Collin Klein (Kansas State)

Klein is a quarterback who has just changed the tempo for Kansas State. He is a true candidate for the Heisman because of his ability to escape from pressure in the pocket.

2. AJ McCarron (Alabama)

McCarron is a QB who has certainly learned how to make the right plays at the right time early and late in the game. The biggest problem is that Alabama has no shot at making it to the BCS unless Kansas State loses to Baylor, and Oregon gets shocked by Stanford.

3. Kenjon Barner (Oregon)

Kenjon Barner is one of the more physical backs in the NCAA and has really made a big impact in the Pac-12 division. He has had multiple games with multiple touchdowns and multiple games with 200+ yards. If he keeps this up, then Oregon will force Notre Dame to have to face Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl, so the BCS Championship Trophy should be battled out between Oregon and Kansas State.

My call: The 2012-2013 Heisman Trophy is presented to… Collin Klein. He is a player with enough guts to win the Heisman Trophy. K-State is a much-improved team compared to last year.

Read my updated Heisman predictions, after week 13 here.

2013-2014 Season NFL Draft: Top 5 Picks – Week 9 predictions

There are many players that we know of from college who can easily make it to the NFL. Here are my Top 5 draft picks, after week 9:

#1 Pick by the Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback Geno Smith (West Virginia Moutaineers)

Geno Smith out of West Virginia is a player that reminds many of RG3 in Baylor and how he started off his NFL career with the Washington Redskins, as well as Donovan McNabb in Syracuse and in his early years as an Eagles player, and Andrew Luck in Stanford. Matt Cassel literally sucks, so don’t be surprised to see Smith in a red and white Chiefs uniform.

#2 Pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback Matt Barkley (USC Trojans)

It’s pretty obvious that Matt Barkley will go Number 2 (if he doesn’t go number 1), and he has shown us that so far. He plays like an NFL QB and he can make the right plays at the right time. The only reason that I wouldn’t put him as the number 1 pick is because he can’t escape from all the pressure that the defenses are giving him. Also, he got a lot of criticism after the USC Trojans lost to the Stanford Cardinal 21-14.

#3 Pick by the Cleveland Browns: Defensive End Barkevious Mingo (LSU Tigers)

The Cleveland Browns have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but a defense that many coaches might not want to rely on. Mingo could very easily change that. Though, the Browns have to make the right pick, or else Mingo is out of the picture!

#4 Pick by the Carolina Panthers: Wide Receiver Keenan Allen (Cal aka California Golden Bears)

The Carolina Panthers don’t have a star wide receiver other than Steve Smith, so the speedy Allen out of Cal is the perfect choice. He has a 6’3”, 210 pound frame. He is one of the fastest wide receivers in the country. He has the explosiveness to make big catches, and the agility to make defenders miss. The Panthers can’t pass off on Allen, no matter what circumstances may lie in front of them.

#5 Pick by the Washington Redskins: Defensive End Sam Montgomery (LSU Tigers)

The Washington Redskins have a similar situation to what the Cleveland Browns are going through, so Montgomery is the perfect choice. Washington needs a player at defense so that he can fill in when players like Brian Orakpo or London Fletcher or anyone else gets injured, he can fill in. Though, he can still get valuable playing time even when there are no injuries (or any major injuries). He is a player who is very tough to block, and he is the best, most reliable pass-rusher in the country. The Redskins should definitely take advantage of this high pick to be able to get a player such as Sam Montgomery who can also play at the Left Outside Linebacker position. He played Left Outside Linebacker on many key and crucial 3rd down plays for LSU. He is a great pass-rusher who has the speed and power to get the job done for LSU defense (which was number 1 in the country in the 2011-2012 NCAA Football season) and possibly for the Washington Redskins defense (if he gets drafted by the team)!