Oh, dear: The Avs are in last place in the Honda West
And other sports thoughts for Friday
St. Louis defeated Colorado Wednesday night, 4-1, in NHL action as the Blues took a one-game lead on the Avs in the Honda West Division.
Yes, the NHL has corporate sponsors for divisions this year because it more than its Big 4 counterparts relies on gate revenue and as you might have noticed no one was at the Pepsi Center, whoops, Ball Arena for the game.
Seriously, there’s the Discover Central Division, the Mass Mutual East and the Scotia North for the Canadian teams. (How did Tim Horton’s miss this opportunity?)
Since our beloved Avalanche will play everyone in the Honda West eight times this season, they shouldn’t get too worked up over an opening loss. What’s more the Avs are in an interesting realigned division because of COVID. Colorado, St. Louis and Minnesota moved over from the Central to join the American teams remaining in the West.
With Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver moved to the Great White North Division, brought to you by Molson, Colorado gets a bunch of weak sisters in the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes.
Of course, the sticky part is that the Vegas Golden Knights come with the West, but Colorado should be able to hang with Vegas and St. Louis. The Avs can set up a deep run in the playoffs by winning the regular season division title.
Avs fans want their team to be playing the fourth seed out of the Honda West during the first round of the playoffs while the Blues and Golden Knights beat the snot out of each other in a seven-game series.
So the Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly close to signing Urban Meyer as their head coach to what we can assume will be a major deal.
This is not a good idea on so many levels.
First of all, this is a bad episode of the old show, “Coach,” where Hayden Fox leaves Minnesota State for the NFL’s Orlando Breakers, except the Breakers/Jaguars won’t make the playoffs as Orlando did in the final season of the series. (I really love that show.)
There is a reason some guys have success at the college level and then not in the NFL. One is that guys like Meyer run everything at Utah, Florida and (the?) Ohio State University from who plays to the color of the carpet in the weight room. The NFL also won’t allow Meyer to have the recruiting advantage he had particularly at Florida and (the) Ohio State University.
Coaches rarely get that authority at the NFL level, and Meyer is not going to see that from Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn, even if he promisies it. Kahn is the American Dream personified and congratulations to him for that. Seriously, born in Lahore, Pakistan, and now he owns an NFL team? Awesome.
That does not mean he knows how to run a football team. Kahn has shown no sign since 2012 when he bought the team that he can hire professionals and get the heck out of the way. How is this changing with Meyer?
Don’t do it, Urban. (During the editing of this column, he took the job, according to ESPN.)
So — we told you, Urban.
Harden to the Nets
I have no problem with the free market. This is a way of saying that if Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (maybe) want to play together and can make it happen, say, in Brooklyn under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, way to go, fellas.
“Super teams,” though, are not good for the NBA, be it the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors or now the Brooklyn Nets. Major League Baseball and the NFL are set up so the regular season means something. It’s hard to get into the playoffs and a fan doesn’t know who’s going to win the whole thing.
The NBA already had a rather meaningless regular season with 16 teams making the postseason, and super teams make it more worthless exercise.
It’s going to be the Lakers and the Nets in the finals. Could we just fast-forward to July?
For the above stated reason, I was not a big fan of the NFL postseason field expanding to 14. In fairness for the NFL, it went 1-for-2 on this front. The AFC definitely needed a bigger field — the Colts at 11-5 deserved to be in the playoffs. The 8-8 Bears? No, and the Saints showed it last weekend.
That said, two straight days of NFL playoff tripleheaders last weekend? Yes, please.
The picks for this weekend follow with the admonition that we play the point spreads for recreational purposes only.
• Packers (minus-6.5) over the Rams: Aaron Donald scares me if I’m Aaron Rodgers. The rest of the Rams? Not so much.
• Ravens (plus-2.5) over the Bills: Yes, we’re taking the road dog. Tennessee tried to force Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to stay in the pocket, and he still got lose. Watch out this weekend.
• Chiefs (minus-10) over the Browns: It was impressive how the Browns just housed the Steelers. Even if Pittsburgh was stumbling down the stretch, that’s huge for the Cleveland organization. These, however, are the Chiefs. It’s striking midnight on Cinderella.
• Buccaneers (minus-3) over the Saints: I just hate Drew Brees. Without me going into the convoluted history of Brees and the Saints beating my 49ers, I just don’t like him. This is logic-devoid pick. Let’s go, Tom-pa.