Fantasy Football – The COVID-19 effect

July 13, 2020

Since early March, we here in the United States have been feeling the day to day ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, here in July, NFL fans are about to feel the first effects of the coronavirus to their everyday NFL routine.

Sure, we had a very different NFL Draft back in April and yes, OTA’s and mini-camps were out the window, but now training camps are scheduled to open in just two weeks, on July 28th. That reality of whether there will actually be NFL football this Fall is now here and about to unfold…we think. Will camps open? The league office is hell bent on it happening. As for the players, they are a little less sure. Gone already are two preseason games and now, the players want the other half gone as well. Still to be decided are the daily protocols on what camp and then practice and gamedays will look like. How will the economics work out? This upcoming week is an important one on that front as the NFL and NFLPA talked again on Monday about the 35% escrow provision the owners want to roll out for the 2020 season revenues. Those talks reportedly will continue on Tuesday.

So, if everything gets worked out and yes, that’s a big IF and the virus allows games to be played, we have important questions for us, the fans and more importantly for some, the fantasy football player! Just how will you adjust your strategy to your draft and more importantly IMHO, how will your league react and be proactive about players that test positive and can’t play for a week or two. What happens if all of a sudden, there’s a run on players and a team is decimated by 10-15 players being out for any given week. How will your league deal with it? Is your league provider equipped to deal with the changes?

I for one, as a commissioner of a league for over 13 years, want to look ahead now and make sure that there’s flexibility. I’ve already reached out to our league provider to see if there will be an option for bench or injured reserve spots specific to the players that test positive for COVID-19 and can’t play. This to me is an absolute MUST HAVE if fantasy football in 2020 is going to work at all. Teams and team owners will need the choice to add on a dime and I’m just not sure the fantasy football world is ready for that just yet. Here’s hoping I’m wrong. We all could use the distraction in these unprecedented times!

It’s time to think out of the box just as we’ve had to do in our daily lives to change work, school, family and social activities since March just to stay healthy and safe. In the end, I’m just hoping we have games to enjoy and fantasy games to be won.

It’s time to rethink conventional wisdom when it comes to roster construction, roster size, and bench availability. All of it should be on the table before you set your draft order. So, take a look at your league, strip it down to the bare bones and rethink the strategy before you hit those renew links. Maybe through all of it, you’ll find some new and fun ideas you never thought could’ve happened in seasons past.

Good luck to all and yes, wear a mask! Stay safe all!


Stanley Cup Playoffs – First Round Schedule

July 10, 2020

stanley-cup-playoffs-logo.jpgAre you ready for some SummerTime HOCKEY?!!!

Well, ready or not, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re getting hockey LIVE from Edmonton and Toronto coming up in August.

Here’s your daily schedule puckheads:

Saturday, Aug. 1
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 1
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 1
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 1

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 1
Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 1

Sunday, Aug. 2
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 1
Round-robin
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 1
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators, Game 1
Round-robin
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche

Monday, Aug. 3
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 2
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 2
Round-robin
Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 2
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 2
Round-robin
Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Tuesday, Aug. 4
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 2
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers, Game 3
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 2

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game 3
Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 3
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 2

Wednesday, Aug. 5
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers, Game 3
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 3
Round-robin
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 3
Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game 3
Round-robin
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars

Thursday, Aug. 6
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 3
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers, Game 4*
Round-robin
Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild, Game 3
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets, Game 4*
Round-robin
Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues

Friday, Aug. 7
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers, Game 4*
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 4*
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Game 4*

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes, Game 4*
Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild, Game 4*
Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Game 4*

Saturday, Aug. 8
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Game 5*
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 5*
Round-robin
Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames, Game 5*
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers, Game 5*
Round-robin
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

Sunday, Aug. 9
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Florida Panthers vs. New York Islanders, Game 5*
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Game 5*
Round-robin
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Best-of-5 series
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks, Game 5*
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators, Game 5*
Round-robin
Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues

STANLEY CUP QUALIFIERS BY SERIES
 
EASTERN CONFERENCE (Toronto)

(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens
Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens vs. Penguins
Monday, Aug. 3: Canadiens vs. Penguins
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Penguins vs. Canadiens
Friday, Aug. 7: Penguins vs. Canadiens*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Canadiens vs. Penguins*
 
(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Rangers vs. Hurricanes
Monday, Aug. 3: Rangers vs. Hurricanes
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes vs. Rangers
Thursday, Aug. 6: Hurricanes vs. Rangers*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Rangers vs. Hurricanes*

(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers
Saturday, Aug. 1: Panthers vs. Islanders
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Panthers vs. Islanders
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Islanders vs. Panthers
Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders vs. Panthers*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*

(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (9) Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs
Thursday, Aug. 6: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets
Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs*

Round-robin
Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers vs. Bruins
Monday, Aug. 3: Capitals vs. Lightning
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning vs. Bruins
Thursday, Aug. 6: Capitals vs. Flyers
Saturday, Aug. 8: Bruins vs. Capitals
Sunday, Aug. 9: Flyers vs. Lightning

WESTERN CONFERENCE (Edmonton)
(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks
Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Monday, Aug. 3: Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Oilers vs. Blackhawks
Friday, Aug. 7: Oilers vs. Blackhawks*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Blackhawks vs. Oilers*

(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes
Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes vs. Predators
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Coyotes vs. Predators
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Predators vs. Coyotes
Friday, Aug. 7: Predators vs. Coyotes*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Coyotes vs. Predators*

(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild
Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild vs. Canucks
Tuesday, Aug. 4: Wild vs. Canucks
Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks vs. Wild
Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks vs. Wild*
Sunday, Aug. 9: Wild vs. Canucks*
 
(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets
Saturday, Aug. 1: Jets vs. Flames
Monday, Aug. 3: Jets vs. Flames
Tuedsay, Aug. 4: Flames vs. Jets
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames vs. Jets*
Saturday, Aug. 8: Jets vs. Flames*

Round-robin
Sunday, Aug.2: Blues vs. Avalanche
Monday, Aug.3: Stars vs. Golden Knights
Wednesday, Aug.5: Avalanche vs. Stars
Thursday, Aug.6: Golden Knights vs. Blues
Saturday, Aug.8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche
Sunday, Aug.9: Stars vs. Blues

* – if necessary



Red Sox 2020 schedule announced

July 6, 2020

thCAUCGGWZ.jpg

Well, if baseball is going to be played in 2020 – and that’s no given considering the latest twists and turns in the COVID-19 pandemic – we now know who the Red Sox will play and when.

It is a very unbalanced schedule that sees the Red Sox play against the other teams in the AL and NL Eastern Divisions. The Red Sox will have to play 7 of their 10 games against the Yankees in NY. Conversely, they’ll host the Orioles for 6 of 10 at Fenway while having the Blue Jays come to Boston for 7 of the 10 contests. The Rays will host the Sox for 6 of their 10 meetings as well.

Boston starts at home with the Orioles on July 24th and ends with the Braves in September. The Red Sox have moved weekday starting times back to 7:30pm as well.

The full schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 24th vs. Orioles 7:30pm
Saturday, July 25th vs. Orioles 1:35pm
Sunday, July 26th vs. Orioles 1:35pm
Monday, July 27th vs. Mets 7:30pm
Tuesday, July 28th vs. Mets 7:30pm
Wednesday, July 29th at Mets 7:10pm
Thursday, July 30th at Mets 7:15pm
Friday, July 31st at Yankees 7:05pm
Saturday, August 1st at Yankees 7:15pm
Sunday, August 2nd at Yankees 7pm
Tuesday, August 4th at Rays 6:40pm
Wednesday, August 5th at Rays 6:40pm
Friday, August 7th vs. Blue Jays 7:30pm
Saturday, August 8th vs. Blue Jays 7:30pm
Sunday, August 9th vs. Blue Jays 1:35pm
Monday, August 10th vs. Rays 7:30pm
Tuesday, August 11th vs. Rays 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 12th vs. Rays 7:30pm
Thurday, August 13th vs. Rays 4:30pm
Friday, August 14th at Yankees 7:05pm
Saturday, August 15th at Yankees 7:15pm
Sunday, August 16th at Yankees 7pm
Monday August 17th at Yankees 7:05pm
Tuesday, August 18th vs. Phillies 7:30pm
Wednesday, August 19th vs. Phillies 7:30pm
Thursday, August 20th at Orioles 7:05pm
Friday, August 21st at Orioles 7:05pm
Saturday, August 22nd at Orioles 7:05pm
Sunday, August 23rd at Orioles 1:05pm
Tuesday, August 25th at Blue Jays 6:37pm
Wednesday, August 26th at Blue Jays 6:37pm
Thurday, August 27th at Blue Jays 6:37pm
Friday, August 28th vs. Nationals 7:30pm
Saturday, August 29th vs. Nationals 7:30pm
Sunday, August 30th vs. National 1:35p
Monday, August 31st vs. Braves 7:30pm
Tuesday, September 1st vs. Braves 7:30pm
Wednesday, September 2nd vs. Braves 7:30pm
Thursday, September 3rd vs. Blue Jays 7:30pm
Friday, September 4th vs. Blue Jays 7:30pm
Saturday, September 5th vs. Blue Jays 7:30pm
Sunday, September 6th vs. Blue Jays 1:35pm
Tuesday, September 8th at Phillies 7:05pm
Wednesday, September 9th at Phillies 4:05pm
Thurday, September 10th at Rays 6:40pm
Friday, September 11th at Rays 6:40pm
Saturday, September 12th at Rays 6:40pm
Sunday, September 13th at Rays 1:10pm
Monday, September 14th at Marlins 6:40PM
Tuesday, September 15th at Marlins 6:40pm
Wednesday, September 16th at Marlins 6:40pm
Friday, September 18th vs. Yankees 7:30pm
Saturday, September 19th vs. Yankees 7:30pm
Sunday, September 20th vs. Yankees 1:35pm
Tuesday, September 22nd vs. Orioles 7:30pm
Wednesday, September 23rd vs. Orioles 7:30pm
Thursday, September 24th vs. Orioles 7:30pm
Friday, September 25th at Braves 7:10pm
Saturday, September 26th at Braves 7:10pm
Sunday, September 27th at Braves 3:10pm


Things Rattling Around My Head – June 30th

June 30, 2020

rattling+head.png

A few quick thoughts rattling around the dome for a Tuesday day-off from the day gig….

* – First things, first. The Patriots signing Cam Newton on a one-year, $1 million guaranteed contract with incentives up to $7.5 million is just what they do. Value and not overpaying. They like Jarrett Stidham, but if they can upgrade – and if Cam is healthy, he’s a dramatic upgrade at the quarterback position – then it’s a win-win for everyone. Can Cam’s alter-ego, me-first persona fit in with Bill Belichick. Sure. They’ll find a way to make it work. As long as they put in the work on the field, it will be fine. Now, it’s just up to Supermann to show us that the injury-bug is not his kryptonite and he’s ready to get back to a Top 10 QB level that won an NFL MVP and nearly a Super Bowl. If not, it’s back to Stidham, which was plan A all along.

* – So, Tom Brady and the Bucs want Antonio Brown? Good luck handling the headaches. The good times only last so long with AB it seems. Common sense is not his friend it seems.

* – I have ZERO problem with any NBA, MLB or NHL player saying they’re not up to playing in these COVID-19 times. The Rockies Ian Desmond, Lakers Avery Bradley, Diamondbacks Mike Leake and more have said they’ll stay home when their leagues’ games begin in July. They are thinking about their families and their own situations and I have NO qualms about it. Do what’s best for you and your family always.

* – Doesn’t it seem like forever ago that we watched Tiger Woods, Phil MIckelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning duel it out on the fairways?

* – Will you be watching Hamilton on Disney+ this weekend? We will!

* – Count me as a fan of Drew McIntyre as WWE Champion. He’s got the skills in the ring, he’s personable and funny as hell to boot! He can take on all-comers and make them look good as well. Here’s hoping for a long run at the top for the Scottish Claymore!

* – I watched an inning or two of the Korean Baseball League for the first time this morning (Tuesday). The game hummed along at a good clip, granted it was a rout of a game so that might have added to a few first pitch swingings. But, the pitchers got the ball and threw it. Not a bad experience at all. Of course, the game was just there as background of ESPN’s interview with Buster Olney about the state of MLB coming back. And with that, I’ve filled my KBO fix for the week.

* – Sad news as comedy icon Carl Reiner passed away at age 98. A legend indeed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

* – If you get a chance to catch “The Floor is Lava” on Netflix, do it. It’s entertaining and you’ll totally say “I could do that.” But, you couldn’t right?!

* – FOX is giving up the US Open to NBC. A wise move financially for FOX in these current times. Golf isn’t their forte although Brad Faxon was awesome on commentary and should get another gig quickly and some of the production innovations were very good, but they didn’t have stomach to bear the last seven years of the 12-year deal. Could they be giving up the World Cup next since they are already being looked at for getting the US television rights on shaky terms? Anytime NBC, Mike Tirico, Dan Hicks and the gang get to do a Major, it’s good for us watching on TV, so an upgrade there. 

* – Speaking of tv broadcasts, it looks like NESN will have Dave O’Brien, Jerry Remy and Dennis Eckersley for all 60 games of the shortened upcoming MLB season. The odd thing is that they will do all 60 from the NESN studios and none at Fenway Park. MLB already has the rule that there are no road TV broadcasters allowed, but why not do the games from Fenway Park actually at the ballpark? Seems odd unless they are looking at health risks, especially for Remy, who’s battled cancer for years.

* – I miss Wimbledon!

Celtics NBA Restart Schedule

June 28, 2020

Boston Celtics Logos1

The NBA has set their schedule for the restart of the NBA season down at Wide World of Sports at Disney in Orlando, Florida.

Here’s the Celtics portion of the schedule. For the full schedule, click here.

Friday, July 31 vs. Bucks 6:30pm ESPN, NBCSB
Sunday, August 2 vs. Trail Blazers 3:30pm ABC, NBCSB
Tuesday, August 4 vs. Heat 6:30pm TNT, NBCSB
Wednesday, August 5 vs. Nets 9pm ESPN, NBCSB
Friday, August 7 vs. Raptors 9pm TNT, NBCSB
Sunday, August 9 vs. Magic 5pm NBCSB
Tuesday, August 11 vs. Grizzliers 6:30pm TNT, NBCSB
Wednesday, August 13 vs. Wizards TBD NBCSB


NBA Restart Schedule

June 28, 2020
The NBA has set their schedule for the restart of the NBA season down at Wide World of Sports at Disney in Orlando, Florida. Here’s the schedule barring any changes.
July 30
Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans 6:30 p.m (TNT)
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers 9 p.m. (TNT)
July 31
Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets 2:30 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers 4 p.m. (NBA TV)
Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards 4 p.m.
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs 8 p.m.
Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks 9 p.m. (ESPN)
August 1
Miami Heat vs. Denver Nuggets, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
August 2
Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets, 2 p.m.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, 6 p.m.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. (ABC)
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic, 9 p.m.
August 3
Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat, 1:30 p.m.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 4 p.m.
Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards, 4 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
August  4
Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 1:30 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings, 2:30 p.m.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 4 p.m.
Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 9 p.m. (TNT)
August 5
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz, 2:30 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards, 4 p.m
Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 4 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, 8 p.m.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
August 6
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings, 1:30 p.m.
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, 4 p.m.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 4 p.m. (TNT)
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets, 9 p.m. (TNT)
August 7
Utah Jazz vs. San Antonio Spurs, 1 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4 p.m.
Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets, 5 p.m.
Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors, 9 p.m. (TNT)
August 8
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 1 p.m. (TNT)
Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, 3:30 p.m. (TNT)
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m. (TNT)
Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
August 9
Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 12:30 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Toronto Raptors, 2 p.m.
San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 3 p.m. (ABC)
Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics, 5 p.m.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 6:30 p.m.
Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings, 8 p.m.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 9 p.m.
August 10
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Phoenix Suns, 2:30 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz, 3 p.m.
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat, 8 p.m.
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 9 p.m. (TNT)
August 11
Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic, 1 p.m.
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2 p.m.
Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 4:30 p.m.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Dallas Mavericks, 5 p.m.
Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 9 p.m.
August 12
Indiana Pacers vs. Houston Rockets, 4 p.m.
Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
August 13
Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz
Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets
August 14
Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

Things Rattling Around My Head – 6/23

June 23, 2020

rattling+head.png

Things rattling around this old head for a Tuesday day-off from the day gig…
.
* – Well, its about time that MLB Commish Rob Manfred and the owners are calling the players bluff and just laying down the when and where for the shortened 2020 baseball season. Theres been far too much back-and-forth between the two sides on the financial issues during this COVID-19 pandemic. Enough is enough. If there were issues with the health portion of how to get the game back on the field, that I can understand. But, it’s really not about that, it’s about the pure $$$ and how billionaires and millionaires will split money. They’ve lost a golden opportunity to give the World some outlets while being contained during the coronavirus crisis that has cost over 40 million workers their jobs. Yes, they will play baseball in about a month and we will finally move forward. Something all of us have been trying to do since March 11th.
* – Nice to see Tom Brady still not listening to the NFL on their rules. The NFL’s own doctors said to NOT have any team workouts and yes there’s TB12 marching to his own drum again by gathering about a dozen or so Bucs players for a workout Tuesday morningworkout Tuesday morning (Tampa Bay Times). Funny, same guy who wouldn’t even take the time to get with ANY young player the last two years in New England. Remember, he told you had NOTHING to do with deflategate and you believed him, right?! #sarchasm
* – We are with YOU Bubba Wallace!
* – As has been the media norm the past few months during the COVID-19 epidemic, large media companies are using the opportunity to downside and save some dough. Fox Sports and FS1 are no exception as they’ve decided to cut some production and feature shows including WWE Backstage. That’s too bad as the show never really had a chance to succeed with its 11pm (ET) timeslot and infrequent panel. CM Punk was hired to join Renee Young but was hardly ever used, showing up barely once a month. The premise was good but the execution was awful. Put in a good timeslot and let hosts speak their mind more frequently could’ve been a start to success. Instead, the show will now just be done around major PPV’s. That’s a shame.
* – The very thought of a two-hour debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden makes my head hurt. Neither one has seen a rational thought in quite some time.
* – What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to when MLB, NBA, NHL or NFL returns to TV? For me, overtime playoff hockey.
* – Fans in the stands? Why not. Let a certain number in, spread them out and see where it goes from there. Get them all tested and see if the virus spread between or because of them. If the numbers are good, increase on a consistent basis. It’s not hard. Just has to be planned and well thought out.
* – Shame on you ABC for canceling “The Baker and The Beauty.” A diverse (racially, culturally and gender) and entertaining show that had legs is what you killed. You would think in these troubled and disconnected times, a show like that would be a positive on a network roster. But then again, it’s just about numbers and flawed rating numbers. I, for one, will me DJ Cubano!
* – One of the positives to come out of the last four months is the open and interesting conversations we have in our household between my wife, two young daughters and I. It’s a dialogue that I hope is happening throughout all homes and neighborhoods these days. It’s their generation that will truly make the difference and take change forward to far greater lengths than ours did.
* – Stay safe and stay strong my friends!

WWE Backlash PPV Predictions

June 14, 2020

01-wwe-backlash-edge-vs-randy-orton-greatest-wrestling-match-ever

It’s time for Backlash tonight from the WWE and the latest PPV on the WWE Network. It’s being billed as the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever between Edge and Randy Orton, which is pretty ironic considering we just watch an epic from Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles just two days ago. So, Edge vs. Orton won’t even be the Greatest Wrestling Match of the Weekend, never mind EVER.

Also, we get five title matches and Hardy vs. Sheamus.

Latest card:

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley
  • Universal Championship Handicap Match: Braun Strowman vs. The Miz & John Morrison
  • Greatest Wrestling Match Ever: Edge vs. Randy Orton
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Nia Jax
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
  • Women’s Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match: Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics
  • United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. Andrade

Let’s take a look at who we think is coming out on top.

WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley
While we don’t expect Drew to drop the belt, there will be enough doubt to keep the feud going. It will be physical as hell and I wouldn’t rule out Lana and/or MVP costing Lashley the match.
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Universal Championship Handicap Match: Braun Strowman vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Honestly, I have low expectations for this one. There’s really no reason for this match and there’s little chance Strowman loses a second straight handicap title match (remember, 3-on-1 IC Title Match loss to Sami Zayn?). It just shows how stagnant things are at the top of the SmackDown card in the Roman Reigns-less days of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Winner: Braun Strowman

Greatest Wrestling Match Ever: Edge vs. Randy Orton 
I’m sure this will be a lengthy and well told in the storyline, but as far as the best wrestling match ever, that’s not happening. But, then again, that’s not why anyone really likes either man for. In the end, expect a little payback from The Viper.
Winner: Randy Orton 

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Nia Jax
There’s NO way Asuka is dropping the belt to Nia Jax. If it does happen, it would show truly how lost the WWE is creatively. Give us more Asuka vs. Flair and move on.
Winner: Asuka

Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus
P*ss payback will be a b*tch for Jeff Hardy. Sheamus takes this one.
Winner: Sheamus

Women’s Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match: Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics
Long live the champs! Their first reign as the first ever Women’s Tag Team Champs was cut short by The IIconics, but don’t expect that to happen this time. Plus, at some point, we will get Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (Summerslam?), so they’ll need to keep the titles a bit longer to tease that tension. 
Winner: Bayley & Sasha Banks

United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. Andrade
This one is more about the on-going feud in the Zelina Vega faction – Andrade vs. Angel Garza – than the US Title. Garza costs Andrade the championship tonight and ignites that full blow fight. Apollo walks out to fight another day against another contender.
Winner: Apollo Crews

So, no title changes predicted which means we could get a swerve or just a non-sensical booking from the boys/girls in the back. Stay tuned!

 

 

 


This Week in the WWE – Place To Be Nation 6/7-6/13

June 13, 2020

ccefda3ab89b84a4-1200x675

Just in case you missed it over on Place To Be Nation’s website, click here  to read my latest This Week In The WWE column. It’s full of changes on the social, creative and title front across all brands!

Give it a read and join the conversation!


Things Rattling Around My Head – June 10th

June 10, 2020

rattling+head.png

Just a few thoughts for Hump Day afternoon –

  • Had an opportunity to attend the East Providence rally at the police department last Saturday and count me as impressed. Peaceful, powerful and yes, socially distanced and safe. Black, white, female, male, kids, adults and our community coming together as one to make sure change comes in time to save us all. Yes, we all acknowledge that things need to change in our society on so many fronts with the memory of George Floyd’s murder on our front lobes. It doesn’t matter what political line you are on and no matter what race, creed or faith you belong to. I just hope the conversation and the actions continue to make things better because we can’t afford to let it not go anywhere.
  • It’s about time that Major League Baseball *%*( or gets off the pot for the 2020 season. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about enough of the back-and-forth between players and owners on how many games they want to play and how much they’re going to get paid to play them. 114 games. 89 games. 48 games. It’s obvious the owners don’t want to play the players the pro-rated salary they agreed upon in March. The players don’t want to take less. The TV networks don’t want to move the playoffs past the October slot it’s not in considering they will have NBA & NHL, in addition to NFL at the same time. It’s time for Commissioner Rob Manfred to just mandate a shortened 48 game season that starts at the end of July, before the NBA’s start date (July 31). Let the players know games will start and see if they want to show up.
  •  It won’t be long until there are fans in the stands for sporting events. NASCAR is planning on letting in 1,000-5,000 fans over their next few events. Texas and Florida state governments have already said sporting events with 50% capacity can happen now. I expect the WWE and All Elite Wrestling to be the first ones to take advantage of that situation.
  • I love everyone trying to handicap who’s got a better chance to win in the NBA when they come back with 22 teams starting on July 31st in Orlando at Wide World of Sports at DisneyWorld. Let’s be honest, no one knows what any player or team is coming back with and just how they will react to whatever the new look will be when they start playing in front of an empty arena. It will be interesting though! I’ll be watching.
  • Shame on Kevin Durant for at least not wanting to try and return. It’s wide open to a championship in these unprecedented times.
  • Steel Magnolias on NETFLIX is worth your time! Can’t wait for season 2.
  • Speaking of NETFLIX, nice to see Fuller House leave room for a comeback to even though their run is done at the moment.
  • Don’t know about you, but can’t wait for the drinking game to come out of a Trump vs. Biden debate.
  • Count me as one who thinks a simplified Patriots offense with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback will help the younger receivers and make it at least a bit more effective than the one we were left disappointed with at the end of the 2019 season.
  • Vegas has it perfect for the over/under at 9 for the Patriots wins in 2020. There are arguments for either side, but right now, I’d go with over at 10. But, I’m hedging my bet because that is one killer schedule.
  • Thank you E! for bringing the TV show “Las Vegas” back for a few marathons! Loved the show when TNT was running it back a few years ago as I never really watched in its first run on NBC. It’s nice to add my friends from the Montecito back for a little pandemic binge watching.
  • Speaking of the COVID-19 virus, just because it’s been put on the backburner a bit with all of the protests recently doesn’t mean the virus is gone. Two million cases and over 112,000 deaths in the US alone and hotspots are cropping up all around us now with more and more things opening up and people coming together in the thousands for the demonstrations. Wear your masks and stay safe people! It will help in the long run.
  • Final thought – everyone is back on the Colin Kaepernick needs to be signed to an NFL team NOW rant. Not me. He deserved a shot 3 years ago, not now. I think we could argue that Kurt Warner, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and more are in line first and better equipped to play now before Kap. The NFL’s message by Commissioner Roger Goodell against racism didn’t go far enough in not including a message directly for Kaepernick. It should’ve addressed him.