From hot and powerful sunlight beating down the back of everyone’s neck during the afternoon, to the sun disappearing behind the moon for an eclipse, this past August is definitely one to remember for many reasons. Here are some of lessons learned from the past thirty days.
- NFL Preseason is Ridiculous and Players Shouldn’t Play in it
This is less of something learned and more of extra evidence for a working theory. Football is a sport that does not really allow its players to “go through the motions,” because of the physical element in the sport. Yet, when you see New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Dallas Cowboy linebacker Anthony Hitchens and Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware go down with season ending knee injuries, it is infuriating to see players missing the entire season and potentially jeopardizing their livelihood by playing in useless games. Preseason should be used for rookies and players trying to make the roster, while training camp and practices should be used for veterans and starters warming up. Putting a valuable player to play in an NFL game that has no meaning is ridiculous.
- Watching the Little League World Series is Hard
Don’t let the title fool you, the Little League World Series is a fun event to watch. Young children playing baseball in the summertime always brings back personal childhood nostalgic moments. When I say it is difficult to watch, it is in the same vein that it is difficult to watch young Olympians. You know how hard they had to work to get to that level, and you know one single mistake will destroy that work and sacrifice. Watching the young pitcher from the Dominican Republic breakdown in tears on the pitching mound after giving up the game winning hit to the Venezuelan team figuratively broke my heart. I know participation trophies aren’t that popular, but I really just want to give all these young kids a gold medal for getting as far as they got.
- The Best MLB Players Are being Wasted
Since entering the Major Leagues back in 2012, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout has been the top player in the sport. A perfect five tool player who, despite entering the game the same time as hype machine Bryce Harper, has surpassed him in baseball circles. Yet, he’s seen October baseball only once in his career. Miami Marlins’ outfield Giancarlo Stanton has lived up to his 13 year, $325 million contract by hitting an insane 16 home runs in August and having an on base percentage of .462. He has never played in the postseason. Right now, the Angels and Marlins are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff standings. One of the flaws of baseball is that a single player does not have the same control as in other sports. LeBron James and Tom Brady will always be in the postseason, but the best baseball player will not. And for a sport looking for a new face, they really need their top stars in the game to play when everyone is watching.
- UNCG Autumn Excitement
With a No. 3 preseason ranking for the Men’s Soccer team and a No. 2 ranking for Volleyball, it is clear that the coaches for the Southern Conference hold the two Spartan teams in high regards for the upcoming season. This past Saturday evening, the Volleyball team closed out their opening the Spartans-Demon Deacons Classic by setting a record in crowd attendance for a match at 1,203. This was part of a weekend of home matches from the Volleyball and both soccer teams, men and women. Despite the early year excitement from the beginning of the new sports season here at UNCG, chances are that viewership and student attendance at these matches will continue to be high, as long as the teams can live up to the hype set by their peers.
- The Kyrie Irving “Trade”
There could be a list of “Five Things I Learned From the Kyrie Irving Trade.” The “deal” has that many layers to it. This is the deal right now: Boston acquires Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers acquire Isiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ first round pick in next year’s draft. Overall, a good deal on both sides. Boston now has a superstar and Cleveland has a solid replacement in Thomas, a good wing player in Crowder, and youth with the rookie Zizic and a high first round pick, seeing the Nets had the worst record last year and the top pick. Now let’s read into the deal.
- Cleveland is supremely confident in winning the East to the point that they’ll trade their second best player to their biggest threat in the Conference.
- Boston showed they can trade away their many first round picks they got from the Nets in the Kevin Garrett and Paul Pierce deals. If they continue to use them, they could dominate the East.
- The first round pick can be both insurance and a future: LeBron James is not guaranteed to return after this season, so Cleveland could trade the pick for a star that could appease James or use it for their future and let LeBron leave, much like what they did with Kyrie when LeBron left for Miami.
- Cleveland is putting all their eggs in the basketball for one year. Thomas, James and acquired free agents Derrick Rose, and Jeff Green, are all on one year deals. Cleveland is probably going to sign another veteran player and make one last run at a title.
This trade hasn’t happened. Thomas is coming off a hip injury and had a poor physical. Cleveland is looking for more players or draft picks from Boston, who might not budge. If this falls apart, Cleveland might keep Irving to begin the season and look for a trade involving Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves. If Boston let’s this deal die, then Danny Ainge needs to have his head examined.