The Warriors, Brock, Potato Bowl and the hot stove
We live in weird world.
You must remember this — and, no, we’re not going to “As time goes by,” — I grew up in San Francisco, yes, rooting for the Giants and 49ers. I’d faithfully follow the Giants in mediocrity and then the Niners would come along and win everything. Then I’d wait for Giants baseball to start up.
The Warriors really didn’t exist. This was the franchise that so coveted Joe Barry Carroll that it traded Robert Parrish and the draft pick that became Kevin McHale to Boston in 1980. Whoops.
This woefully inept franchise is 23-0 and the defending NBA champion? It’s a world gone mad.
While not emotionally invested in the Warriors — we’ve started to hear the comparisons to the 1996 Bulls, which went 72-10 and won their fourth NBA title.
Tap on the brakes, people.
Reason No. 1 is that the Bulls had Michael Jordan.
Reason No. 2 is that the Bulls also had Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Tony Kukoc and Phil Jackson.
Reason No. 3 is that the Bulls had Jordan.
Twenty years from now, we may know that the Warriors were starting a run of titles and Stef Curry is one of this generation’s greats. Until then, chill out.
Stick with Brock and the Pats
In another reversal of fortune, we have the Broncos. For the last three years, Denver had the flying circus with Peyton Manning and no defense. Now, the Broncos have a tremendous defense and Manning and the offense fell apart.
As much as it would be a fairy tale way to end things, resting up Peyton and then having him return for a playoff run and a an Elway-like blaze-of-glory finish, stick with Brock Ozweiler.
I take no pleasure in Manning’s demise. I liked that he was one of the few quarterbacks left who pretty much ran the show. Time caught up with him. It happens to all the greats. The three years he gave Denver were rather miraculous coming off neck surgery.
The Wizard of Oz — perhaps, not yet — gives the Broncos a slim chance in the playoffs.
And remember this, the Patriots are still the favorites in the AFC. It’s very fashionable to rule out teams with our instant analysis culture. The Pats have a month to get healthy. Gronk and few others get healthy and Lord Hoodie will find a way.
Also remember that Packers are going through a bit of a funk now. They’ll be fine. Also in the NFC, the Panthers and Cardinals loom and the Seahawks are starting to get into their second-half mode.
The Broncos should see what they can do with their defense and Oz and draft for the offensive line and running back next spring.
No beef with the College Football Playoff selection. The Pac-12 and Notre Dame played their way out of spots. Oklahoma is a deserving entry from the Big 12, having shown how to shut down trendy up-tempo pistol offenses.
The Big 10 resolved itself neatly with Michigan State. The SEC, since it invented football, gets Alabama and Clemson at 13-0 was an automatic.
What intrigues me in the semis, is Michigan State and Bama. The Tide got hit in the mouth last year by Ohio State, and now it gets Sparty. As much as the SEC is the greatest thing ever in the history of college football, look for Alabama to go 0-for-2 in the playoff.
Oklahoma takes Clemson in the other semi.
In the meantime, we’ve got to do something about the bowl system. I love football as much as the next person, but 40? That’s 80-of-127 FBS teams making a bowl. Too much of a good thing.
Ohio vs. Appalachian State? (Camellia Bowl).
Akron vs. Utah State? (The storied Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).
Heck, there just aren’t enough bowl-eligible teams that CSU and Nevada, both from the Mountain West Conference, are meeting in the Arizona Bowl.
Meanwhile, we have three 5-7 teams — Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State playing.
Snakes in the grass
The hot stove is hot in baseball as the Arizona Diamondbacks seem content on taking over the NL West. Zack Greinke went to Phoenix with a ridiculous deal in money and one that looked ridiculous with regard to winning a World Series.
Then the Snakes picked up Shelby Miller from the Braves, who seem to be selling everyone. (Atlanta did get quite a haul in prospects from Arizona.)
Arizona could win the NL West Next year, unless the Dodgers and Giants find some more pitching somewhere.
Oh, yes, and the Rockies have done very little. That could change quickly as Carlos Gonzalez seems to be on the market again.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
When Flacco drops back to pass, he earns respect without uttering a word, by displaying a gift that’s rare, even at the NFL level.