Wednesday , 22 November 2017

Sports Bruu’s Numbers Game: Manning, Yu Darvish, March Madness, and Much More

By Mike Bruu, TSB Staff

1. Welcome into another edition of The Numbers Game. First and foremost I would love for you all to become fans of The Sports Bruu Podcast that is available for listen every Monday afternoon. We are in the stages of preparing the episodes to be available for download soon, but for the time being I promise there isn’t a better option that sitting down and enjoying the TSB gang discuss some sports and entertainment for the your listening pleasure. Here is the link to this Monday’s episode.

2. Remember in Madden video games when you tried to trade for Peyton Manning just to see him in a different uniform? Remember how you would turn to your buddy and laugh at how crazy it would be if somehow Manning was released and your team got the future Hall of Famer? Well, for fans in Miami, Houston, Seattle, Arizona, Denver (although they have Tebow so obviously they are set at quarterback), San Francisco, and New York (the green part of town), you might just get your chance to see Mr. Manning dressed in your team’s attire. Although the favorite appears to be Miami, I would love to see Peyton in Bronco orange next season. Tebow would be able to learn from one of the greatest to have ever played the position, and with the likely package deal you would receive with the Manning signing in also bringing in wide receiver Reggie Wayne, the defense proved last year that they can keep teams off the scoreboard that you might just have a threat to win the AFC in Colorado.

3. March Madness has already begun around the country with the small conference tournaments wrapping up while the Big East, Big 12, etc., are just beginning. But the best four days in college sports begin one week from today with the first and second rounds of the NCAA tourney are played. Nothing beats sitting on the couch from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and just watch college basketball with some friends. Now with every game on TV through TBS, TNT, truTV, and of course CBS, we can finally all tune into Detroit Mercy versus Syracuse at 2:30 p.m. and enjoy it. Ah, technology.

4. Yu Darvish made his first start in a Ranger uniform on Wednesday versus the San Diego Padres in a Cactus League game deep in the heart of Arizona. Darvish was very impressive for the most part, fanning three hitters and walking none, but did allow two doubles including one that would have easily cleared the fence at the Ballpark in Arlington. However, given the expectations placed on this young man so quickly, I am very impressed with the assortment of pitches he has at his disposal and what he is able to do with the baseball. If he can control that fastball and really work his other pitches off of that, his sinker and changeup will be even more devastating to hitters on both sides of the plate.

5. Steve Kirk and myself discussed this a bit on Monday’s episode of The Sports Bruu Podcast, but this whole Saints bounty scandal, (I refuse to call it “Bounty-gate”) is very interesting to me. I believe every former player who is now an analyst on ESPN or NFL Network as either participated or been witnessed some form of a bounty program in the locker room, and that they are truly right when they say that almost every professional team does it to some extent. Now while I believe that it is incredibly wrong to put money on the table to go and take out another team’s best player, the idea that those linebackers and safeties don’t already play with that sense of reckless abandon and desire to knock someone out is just silly. A safety earns his paycheck by being one of the most physical players on the field and trying to blow up plays at the line of scrimmage or across the middle. You don’t think as he sees his oppositions star receiver coming across the middle that he isn’t licking his chomps to try and knock his butt out? We love football because they can hit people straight up and have it be ok, while the rest of us normal people in society would be on our way to jail before we could even say a word. The Saints, top-to-bottom, are going to be punished on the most massive of levels, and Gregg Williams, who is currently employed with the St. Louis Rams, will most likely be told to sit out the 2012 season. They have to weed out the organized bounty programs in the league to continue on the path towards player’s safety and good standing between the league and its fans, but know that they will never take away a defenders desire to knock someone out even without a monetary reward.

6. As I was navigating around Twitter and Facebook Wednesday I noticed almost everyone was sharing a video entitled “Kony 2012”. I’ll be completely honest and admit I had no idea what this video was about, but since every person I was friends with was re-posting it I knew I had to check it out. After watching the 30-minute video I was deeply saddened by what I saw and was horrified to know that there are people who have that amount of evil in their souls to commit such horrific crimes. But as kept seeing people repost and have a headline asking people to get involved and to make a difference, I wonder in one week how many of those same people will have done something more to assist the cause, such as donating money or calling the political representatives listed in the video. How many people will still feel like participating in Kony 2012 after the videos stopped being posted daily and the buzz slows down on the project? I am all for participating and fighting for a good cause, but simply pressing “like” on someone’s Facebook post and putting your status as “Kony 2012” is going to do nothing at all. Yes, you get the word out to a couple more people, but a cause of this magnitude and seriousness in the world needs much more than a couple clicks online. I want people to be aware of what is going on in Uganda, but if you are going to speak out about it and get peoples attention, have it mean something to you just like what it means for the narrator and his desire to leave the world in a better place for his son.

7. For those looking for some quality sports in the DFW area, look no further than your Dallas Stars. Yes, they are still playing in the NHL, and no, Mike Modano is no longer on the team. After an impressive road win Tuesday night in Vancouver to cap off a 3-0 Western Canadian road trip, the Stars have propelled themselves to third place in the Western Conference and sit atop the Pacific division with 77 points, two above rival Phoenix. They have a home game tonight against the hated San Jose Sharks, so if you aren’t busy from 7:30-10 p.m. come on out to the American Airlines Center and eliminate all those grey seats in the stands.

8. Wednesday night I attended the official Town Square Buzz American Idol Watching Party and I have to say that I had a lot of fun with everyone out there. Jack’s Pub hosted a fantastic event and it was neat to see so many McKinney residents coming out to support one of our own. Hollie sang an incredible version of “All the Man That I Need,” which was one of the few highlights of the night where all the female participants put their voices to the test with some Whitney Houston covers. Having known Hollie in high school and talked to her on several occasions, it’s absolutely incredible to see her on that big of a stage and knocking it out of the park every single week. Having not watched a second of American Idol for the past five years or so, Ms. Cavanagh has definitely given me countless reasons to get in front of a TV every Wednesday night.

9. I attended the North-MHS boys soccer game on Monday night and I came away impressed with both squads. The Lions look to have District 17-4A all but wrapped up now, but North is a very stingy squad that attacks just when you think you have them beat. The biggest thing that I took away from the match was how physical both teams got, especially in the second half. Maybe it is my inexperience in the world of soccer talking, but some of the tackles that were made on the ball seemed much more violent than I had seen in a high school match before. I guess that’s what you get when you suit up and play in a Crosstown Showdown.

10. McKinney Boyd’s baseball team won its first District 10-5A game of the season 12-1 at Garland Lakeview Centennial Monday night. Seniors Evan Williams and Cameron Sweeney each tripled for the Broncos, while Sweeney also earned the win on the mound. Boyd baseball looks to win its first district championship in school history in 2012 and make its way back into the postseason after losing in three games to Jesuit in the third round of the UIL playoffs. The Broncos compete in the I-30 Classic in Royse City on Thursday and the Rockwall-Heath Tournament on Friday and Saturday for their last tourney action this season.

11. MHS lost its first district baseball contest on Wednesday with a 10-1 loss to Wylie High School. Brad Vassar got the loss on the hill for the Lions, while Anthony Hermelyn hit a double in what was one of McKinney’s few bright spots offensively. The Lions will spend Thursday-Saturday at the Denison Ty Cornstock Invitational, where they will compete against Denton, Burkburnett, Forth Worth Brewer, and Denison.

12. McKinney North didn’t fair much better in its first district action on Wednesday, falling to Wylie East 5-0 on the road. Will Cooper was the losing pitcher for the Bulldogs, while Wylie East’s Zach Freeman held North to just 2 hits in the ballgame. The Bulldogs are hosting the McKinney North Tournament this Thursday through Saturday. On Thursday North hosts Carrollton Newman Smith at 7:30 p.m., while Garland Naaman Forest makes a visit Friday night at 7:30 p.m. as well. The tournament wraps up when Wylie East makes its first visit of the season at 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, but the game will not be considered an official district game that would affect the standings.

13. Similar to my previews on the MISD softball teams last week on TSB, be on the lookout for the baseball previews coming out in the next week. I have found that it’s easiest to make Town Square Buzz your homepage on your computer. That way you never miss any news, updates, or stories TSB offers. It’ll be the best decision you make all week. Trust me.

14. Movie I can’t wait to see: A Thousand Words.

15. Movie I am going to see but just because I am 20 years old and am socially unacceptable if I don’t: Project X

16. I have gotten some feedback on the top three songs segment we did Monday on The Sports Bruu podcast and I have to say that I’m glad people liked it. In case you may have missed it in the opening number, here is a link to the show. My three songs were “Mr. Rager” by Kid Cudi, “Blame Game” by Kanye West featuring John Legend, and “Restless Heart Syndrome” by Green Day. Of course when I got home from the show and started going through my iPod again, I found several songs that make a strong case to be in my top three, proving that it is impossible to pick your three favorite songs when ALL your music is on the table to be chosen. However, thanks to Michele Bernard (or the Entertainment Diva as she is known on the podcast), I may have found a way to settle my case of finding my true favorite song. There still needs to be work done, but if you are interested in what we may have come up with, become a fan of the show and check back every Monday afternoon for the latest episode.

17. If you are a baseball fan, you desperately need to invest your money in MLB.TV. I have recently purchased the subscription and I have to say that having the ability to watch any team on my computer, iPad, iPhone, and even XBOX 360, is incredibly awesome to a sports nut like me. Buyers beware: there is a blackout rule with MLB.TV, so don’t expect to get Ranger games unless you are out of the DFW area. However, you can watch up to 150 Spring Training games in March with no blackout restrictions, which is another perk that comes with subscribing now. If you love America’s pastime, you need to get MLB.TV.

18. The Miami Marlins backstop at its new ballpark might be the coolest design in professional sports. Instead of brick or rubber, the Marlins have a full on aquarium that goes from dugout to dugout and is filled with various exotic fish and plants. Of course a design this spectacular has to come with some form of controversy, where PETA has claimed that noise and crowd issues will cause stress of the fish that is not necessary. In addition, many have asked what the maintenance in keeping up the tank 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Putting those valid points aside, can we not agree that it is an awesome idea?

19. Another week is in the books for myself here in The Numbers Game. As Spring Training, the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, and district play in soccer, softball, and baseball all get into full swing this next week, there will be no shortage of topics to touch on next week right back here on TNG. If you are into Twitter follow me @TSBSportsBruu. Thank you for your time on this wonderful Thursday in McKinney. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.

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