Blogs, Sports

A Newcomer’s Guide to Sportswashing

To use an incredibly cliché phrase: sportswashing is having a moment right now. That term went from obscure political jargon to mainstream issue in just a couple of years. The practice of using sports to improve your country’s reputation and distract from any awful things your regime has done is nothing new, but it’s certainly en vogue. Still, sportswashing might not be a phrase you’ve come across before, especially if you don’t follow international soccer. Now that the practice is working its way up to the global stage, it’s worth taking a look at the issue John Oliver style: what sportswashing is, where it comes from, and why it’s booming right now. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

2022 College Football QB Tiers

It’s undeniable that football is a quarterback driven sport. No matter how good other the other players might be, the QB is the star of the show. College football is no different. 18 of the Heisman Trophy winners this century have been quarterbacks. Hell, Jonathan Taylor had one of the greatest college running back careers ever and he never even got an invite to the ceremony. On top of all that, 2022 is looking like it might be the year of the QB. There are a ton of interesting signal-callers to watch this Fall, and for a wide variety of reasons. Certainly too many to talk about individually. So, I decided to split them up into tiers and ended up categorizing all 131 starting FBS QBs using each team’s presumptive starter heading into the season (shout out to Ourlads). Let’s look at each tier, starting with the cream of the crop. You’re welcome for saving the true Sicko content until the end, although I personally can’t imagine not wanting a deep dive into Kent State’s Collin Schlee. To each their own. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

Should You Trust The Process?

No league is associated with tanking more than the NBA. The art of purposefully throwing terrible teams onto the court in order to get a better draft pick and, in theory, a better player. On January 5th, 2015, Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten gave this philosophy a name when he said three fateful words: “Trust the Process”. It’s been both a meme and a rallying cry, but is it true? Should you really trust the process? Is tanking worth it? I looked back at the last decade of drafts in order to find out. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

Ranking the 2022 Coaching Hires the Smart Way

The greater college football landscape has finally accepted the notion that grading coaching hires right when they happen is pointless. Too many outside factors determine if a coach succeeds or not to make a judgment on whether it was a good decision right away. Plenty of hires over the last decade offer proof that letter grades are meaningless. Brett Bielema, Kliff Kingsbury, Charlie Strong, and Willie Taggart were all considered “A” hires, and all left their school with a losing record. Tom Herman and Dan Mullen were two of the biggest slam-dunk hires in recent memory. Neither are currently working for a college football team. Likewise, nobody thought much of it when PJ Fleck went to Western Michigan, Jeff Traylor went to UTSA, Jeff Brohm went to Western Kentucky, or when Jamey Chadwell took over at Coastal Carolina. All four ended up winning conference championships. The new buzzword in college coaching circles is “alignment,” meaning when a coach and university administration are on the same page. So instead of trying to predict which hires will work and which won’t, I decided to rank the hires based on how much sense they make for the school. I split them into tiers because that seems to be the most accurate way of categorizing them, and ranked them all because, hey, it’s the offseason, I need content, and people love lists. So, let’s rank how much sense each 2022 college football coach hire makes. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

Why Ole Miss Can’t Find a Quarterback

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lane Kiffin? Okay, it’s probably some of his off-field antics or Twitter trolling. But what’s the second thing you think of? It should be explosive offenses led by dynamic quarterbacks. Both of his offenses at Ole Miss have finished in the top 25 nationally, and Matt Corral developed into a Heisman candidate and likely first-round pick in the NFL draft. He’s the man who revolutionized the offense at Alabama, extending Saban’s stranglehold on the sport into another decade. If all this is true, then why can’t Ole Miss find a new quarterback? It’s been well-documented that the Rebels have missed out on a large number of transfer targets this offseason, and Luke Altmyer remains the only true high school prospect Lane has signed at the position, and even he has some question marks both after his recruiting process and his performance in the Sugar Bowl. The problem isn’t Ole Miss or Lane’s personality, it’s his system. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

2021 College Football Season Recap

Another college football season has come to an end. Georgia broke their curse, getting revenge against Alabama and winning their well-deserved national championship. Despite an ending that seemed inevitable from the outset, this was one of the most fun seasons in recent memory. In true college football fashion, every single week brought drama, surprises, and chaos. It’s worth taking a look back at all the highs and lows of the 2021 season, and the easiest way to do that is through the ten categories I’ve been using to recap each individual week. Before we dive in, here’s a quick summary of the criteria for each of those categories: Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

Who Were the Most (And Least) Clutch Teams in College Football?

“Is ___ clutch?” is one of the worst cliche sports arguments in existence. It’s an unprovable premise that is almost always propped up by anecdotal evidence. A basketball player is clutch because you just saw them hit a buzzer-beater, a pitcher is not because they just gave up a walk-off home run, etc. On an individual level, it’s pointless. On a team-wide level, it’s a different story. Football is a game of inches, where a handful of plays can determine the outcome of an entire season. Some teams were better at making those kinds of plays than others. I decided to take a look at the most and least clutch teams of the 2021 college football season. To do this, I turned to Bill Connelly, aka the father of college football analytics. Continue reading

Blogs, TV/Movies

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

If you’ve ever played organized sports, I guarantee you’ve heard the cliche “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Even if you haven’t played, you’ve probably heard this paraphrased Ben Franklin quote before. As trite as it may be, it’s 100% true, particularly in the realm of storytelling. When it comes to serialized media such as TV shows or movies that are planned out over multiple installments, usually a trilogy. We’ve seen clear examples of both sides of this coin in the past couple of decades. The most obvious one, and the inspiration behind this post, is Game of Thrones. Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

College Football Week 13 Recap

You’d be forgiven for forgetting that some important football games happened last weekend. The wildest coaching carousel in history went into overdrive this week, with two of the best coaches in the country unexpectedly bolting for greener pastures. But all that is a discussion for another day. Rivalry week is the best weekend in all of sports and deserves a proper recap. So let’s dive in. But first, a refresher on the categories: Continue reading

Blogs, Sports

College Football Week 12 Recap

I’ll be honest with you: not much of importance happened this weekend. But in college football, that’s when things really get weird. But it wasn’t all that weird either, so I had to get a bit creative with some of the categories this week. Some weeks are down weeks, and that’s okay. If nothing else, Week 12 perfectly set the table for the best week in all of sports: rivalry week. So before we jump in, a quick recap of the categories: Continue reading