Only way the Celtics beat the Cavaliers tonight (8:30 p.m., ESPN) is if Cleveland shoots 0% from the field again. I don't see it happening that way. Cavs in six, baby!!!
- Film Study: The little things that led to Ohio State's league-leading rush defense.
- How Dwayne Haskins improves the fortunes of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber.
- Better Know a Buckeye: L'Christian "Blue" Smith.
Word of the Day: Specious.
TIGERS HUNTING FOR A QB. Ever since the heyday of Jamarcus Russell, LSU hasn't been known as QB pipeline to the NFL. Hell, two years ago they started a guy who wasn't good enough for Darrell Hazell's Purdue in a conference clash against another Purdue castoff at Florida.
Which is why the program was one of the first in line for a prodigiously groomed redshirt junior like Joey Burritos.
If they don't sign him, it won't be for lack of trying.
Burrow, his father, mother and brother all made an official visit to LSU this past weekend, staying Friday to Sunday in Baton Rouge. The red carpet treatment was there for the group, with the visit including everything from private tours of Tiger Stadium and the football operations building to a four-plus hour film session where the staff pitched their plans to Burrow for the upcoming season.
LSU's pitch was centered around Burrow's chance to compete for the starting quarterback job this summer and into fall camp, and he would be able to play immediately this fall with two years of eligibility remaining.
One connection the Tigers were able to work is LSU safeties coach Bill Busch and his relationship with Burrow's father, Jimmy Burrow, who is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio and is longtime friends with Busch through their coaching stops over the years. Burrow's brothers both played at Nebraska, though the Cornhuskers don't appear to be in the mix for his services at this stage.
The article also notes other teams have requested permission for Burrow but only LSU and Cincinnati have been granted permission as of now.
Given Burrow left Baton Rouge without pledging fealty, could things be heating up for Luke Fickell and Cincinnati? I figured Burrow to land in the Power 5, so I'm not going to believe it until I see it. It would make the Buckeyes' 2019 date with the Bearcats much more intriguing if he were to stick around for two years.
BROWNS ON THE MARCH. Jimmy Haslam and Mike Brown, two crooks that moonlight as NFL "owners," would fight each other to the death to replace their respective coach with Urban Meyer.
So when Meyer speaks on NFL matters, I listen—especially if he's hailing the prowess of the Almighty Cleveland Browns.
“I’ve got be careful because it’ll be a headline somewhere,” Meyer joked at Monday’s Hall of Fame Luncheon Club at Tozzi’s on 12th. “I think the Browns did very good.”
The Buckeyes held Mayfield in check in a 45-24 win over Mayfield’s Sooners in 2016. The 2017 meeting was a different story as Mayfield threw for 386 yards and three TDs in a 31-16 win at Ohio Stadium. Afterward, Mayfield ran to midfield and planted Oklahoma’s flag.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a player,” Meyer said of Mayfield. “The No. 1 characteristic of all successful players, especially quarterbacks, is not height, weight, size, fast, slow, tall, short. It’s ‘Are you a competitor?’ And, ‘Are you an extreme competitor?’
You, a hater, might say, "Well, what's he supposed to do? Trash the Browns' draft during a congenial luncheon in their backyard? Of course he's going to compliment them. They did draft a Buckeye, after all."
To which me, the intellectual, will simply uninvite you from my Browns Super Bowl party, which is sure to be the most exclusive and black-tie affair in the Cleveland sewer system.
Perhaps most importantly, Meyer tabbed Dwayne Haskins as the frontrunner and said he will change the way the Buckeyes attack defenses.
“This is really the first time I’ve talked about this since the spring game, but as of now it looks like Dwayne Haskins will get the first opportunity to be the starter,” he said. “Dwayne is a young guy that came in against our rivals and did a heck of a job. You go back and watch that again, he came in on the first drive and took us down the field and scored on that first drive against that defense. So he’s got a great release, he’s got good size and he’s a mobile-enough quarterback.
“It is going to change how we attack defenses.”
I'm going to marinate on that quote for the next three months. Oregon State will need (+75) at least to have even a shot of covering in September.
NIIIICE (ALMOST). Ohio State sent another crop to the NFL this year. Unfortunately, their combined contracts fell $6,507 short of the sex number. Still, that's almost more impressive than Alabama's $84.2 million.
|Ranking||School||Draft||UDFA||Total||% of total contracts issued ($2,043,653,539)|
Michigan appeared on the list at No. 57, sandwiched between its traditional rivals, Rutgers and Toledo.
ILLEGAL BOOKIES BETTER UPDATE THEIR RÉSUMÉ. Here's a New York Times story I did not expect to read when I woke up yesterday.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states, opening the door to legalizing the estimated $150 billion in illegal wagers on professional and amateur sports that Americans make every year.
The decision seems certain to result in profound changes to the nation’s relationship with sports wagering. Bettors will no longer be forced into the black market to use offshore wagering operations or illicit bookies. Placing bets will be done on mobile devices, fueled and endorsed by the lawmakers and sports officials who opposed it for so long. A trip to Las Vegas to wager on March Madness or the Super Bowl could soon seem quaint.
The law the decision overturned — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling. Among its sponsors was Senator Bill Bradley, Democrat of New Jersey and a former college and professional basketball star. He said the law was needed to safeguard the integrity of sports.
New Jersey... thanks. This almost makes me want to visit Atlantic City. As for what this means for American society, we turn to Dallas Mavericks "owner" Mark Cuban:
Mark Cuban to CNBC on sports gambling decision: "I mean, look, it could finally become fun to go to a baseball game again."
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) May 14, 2018
This won't be a financial cure-all for cities and states. And while New Jersey will start taking bets in roughly two weeks, change won't come as quick to the Buckeye State.
The are no current policies in place that would allow wagering on sports, said Jessica Franks, director of communications for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
"It's probably going to end up being a policy decision by the governor and legislature in terms of how that would end up being defined under Ohio gambling laws," Franks said.
Franks said the constitutional amendment generally permitted table games and slot machines in use in other states at the time. The commission, she said, considers changes as other games become available.
A key could be what neighboring states decide to do.
YOU MEAN WE HAVE TO RELY ON INDIANA AND MICH—oh, wait... that might not be a bad thinking, actually?
— AP Interactive (@AP_Interactive) May 14, 2018
The statehouse needs to handle this by football season. I know a certain undead president itching to get back into the game.
BELICHICK HIRES MMA COACH. Football Guys like Bill Belichick pride themselves in understanding the alpha mentality, which is why he hired a... marital arts expert!? ... as a defensive line assistant coach.
The team is hiring martial arts expert Joe Kim as a pass-rushing consultant for the 2018 season, according to a league source. Kim, a Cleveland-area taekwondo master, has worked or consulted for 10 other NFL teams since 1992, most recently the Browns in 2016.
Kim is reuniting with Bill Belichick, who gave Kim his first football job in 1992 when Belichick was Cleveland’s head coach. Kim has coached Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton, who was a member of the 2016 Browns.
Kim, a former US national team member, will work alongside Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly, helping the defenders improve their hand-to-hand combat skills. Kim also will coach pass-rushing linebackers such as Dont’a Hightower. He has previously worked with offensive linemen to improve their hand combat as well.
Can't wait to see how Belichick's old friend, Urban Meyer, innovates on this.
CAM JOHNSTON AT IT AGAIN. The Eagles cut former Ohio State punter Cam Johnston last season. After winning a Super Bowl, it appears the Birds have come to their senses. Johnston is in the pole position for the starting job this year.
That’s expected to change this year, thanks to Johnston just going right back to work in his pursuit of a punting job after originally being denied by the Eagles.
“I just had a year to work on my game and to try to get better as a punter,” he said. “I was just back in Columbus, Ohio, where I went to school [at Ohio State].”
He continued his training routine, waiting for an opportunity that came when the Eagles ostensibly made Jones a salary cap casualty. Jones originally said he was retiring, but then after changing his mind, the Eagles showed no interest in bringing him back at the $1.875 million he was due to make this year, freeing more than $1.6 million in cap space in the process.
Johnston pinning the starting job won't surprise any Ohio State fan older than two.
THOSE WMDs. Famous cases of corporate espionage... Boss Tweed's flight from justice... Oral history of Action Park... Insects like body-hijacking wasps among least studied... "Man with Golden Arm" saved million of babies with blood... Marvel eliminated counter programming.