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The Trevor Hunt
[Posted early Tues. p.m., prior to the World Series]
Pittsburgh Steelers Placekicker Quiz: Who was the kicker in the Steelers’ six Super Bowl wins? 1974 (Vikings), 1975 (Cowboys), 1978 (Cowboys), 1979 (Rams), 2005 (Seahawks), 2008 (Cardinals). Answer below.
--I am posting before Game 6, Dodgers up 3-2 in the Series as they gun for their first championship since 1988. I hope they get it done.
One who can feel very good about his own performance is Clayton Kershaw, who in Game 5 had his second straight solid start, 5 2/3, 2 runs, 6 Ks, as well as alertly snuffing out an attempt to steal home in the bottom of the fourth by Manuel Margot, in moving to 2-0, the Dodgers winning Sunday night 4-2, powered by homers off the bats of Joc Pederson and Max Muncy.
Manager Dave Roberts, much-maligned for his bullpen moves in the postseason over the years, pulled all the right strings. Dustin May replaced Kershaw after just 85 pitches, bringing some second-guessing, but May was electric, ditto Victor Gonzalez and Blake Treinen who combined to slam the door the final 3 1/3.
Tonight it’s the Rays’ Blake Snell vs. L.A.’s Tony Gonsolin, and should the Rays pull it off, the Dodgers have stud Walker Buehler for Game 7.
--The other day I noted that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could block the sale of the Mets to Steve Cohen due to a provision in the lease at Citi Field, and Monday, de Blasio confirmed this.
The city Law Department is reviewing the purchase, the mayor said, because Gotham’s control over the lease could grant him the power to deny the sale to a “prohibited person,” de Blasio said.
Citi Field sits in Flushing on city-owned land, which the city leases to the team’s owners.
As per the lease, a prohibited person is anyone who “has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.”
Although Cohen was never formally charged with a crime, in 2013, his former hedge-fund company, SAC Capital Investors, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud. The incident resulted in a $1.8 billion fine for the hedge fund – which is one of the largest fines of its kind ever issued. In a civil suit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Cohen was banned from managing outside money for two years.
The mayor has not indicated if he believes Cohen’s actions deem him a “prohibited person.”
--Sunday night after I posted, Arizona had a ‘signature’ win, 37-34 in overtime over Seattle to move to 5-2, while the Seahawks suffered their first loss, now 5-1. Russell Wilson threw for 388 yards, 3 touchdowns, and rushed for 84 more, but he also threw three interceptions. On the other side, Kyler Murray had one of his best games as a pro, 34/48, 360, 3-1, plus 67 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett had a Fantasy Football player’s dream night…15 receptions, 200 yards, and three touchdowns.
But Arizona rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons, on just his fifth snap of the game, intercepted Wilson with 1 minute, 4 seconds left in overtime, and Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez redeemed himself after he missed the potential winning field goal earlier in OT. Gonzalez made the 48-yard kick with 20 seconds left.
The Cards head into their bye week before hosting Miami on Nov. 8, which will mark the debut of Tua for the Dolphins.
Meanwhile, fans are still talking about the incredible play by DK Metcalf. After Arizona safety Budda Baker intercepted a Wilson pass near the goal line and returned it 90 yards, Seattle receiver Metcalf tracked Baker down to spoil what would’ve been a sure pick-six.
According to the NFL, Metcalf traveled 114.8 yards and reached a max speed of 22.64 miles per hour in his pursuit.
And the Seattle defense stuffed Arizona on a goal-line stand, the Metcalf effort saving at least six points.
--The Chiefs whipped the Broncos 43-16 late Sunday and I do have to note that Le’Veon Bell had his first action with his new team and rushed it six times for 39 yards.
--Monday night, the Rams (5-2) beat the Bears (5-2) 24-10 as Jared Goff outplayed Nick Foles, the latter with two interceptions.
So after Week 7….
Kansas City 6-1
Green Bay 5-1
And in the Chase for Trevor Sweepstakes….
So the target of the crappy teams’ affection, Trevor Lawrence, the Clemson superstar, appeared to leave the door open to returning for his senior season, not hopping off to the draft next spring.
“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said today. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”
As in, he may not want to play for the Jets, a topic I brought up the other day.
But did I tell you if Trevor comes to New York he gets the Key to the City, plus the Box of Good Humor Whammy Sticks that Carol Merrill is standing in front of?
Lawrence will get his degree in December. He is not coming back…book it. [But Dr. W. first warned us, Trevor has people in his ear.]
--While the Bengals are 1-5-1, No. 1 overall 2020 draft pick Joe Burrow is off to an amazing start in his NFL career, passing for 2,023 yards already, which puts him on pace for 4,624 yards this season. The rookie record is 4,374 passing yards held by Andrew Luck in 2012.
Luck also had a record six 300-yard passing games and Burrow already has five.
Sunday, in the 37-34 loss to Cleveland, Burrow became the first rookie in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and a rushing TD in a single game.
--Speaking of Cleveland, the team confirmed that Odell Beckham Jr. has a torn ACL and his 2020 season is over. A big blow for the Browns who are 5-2.
In his first six games this season, Beckham had 23 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns, as well as a rushing touchdown, but is obviously capable of far more and is a lethal weapon at all times.
--Pity New York football fans…not only are the Jets and Giants a combined 1-13, they have the two worst offenses in the league, Nos. 31 and 32.
The Jets are averaging 264.3 yards a game on offense, 12.1 points per game. The Giants are 282.4 and 17.4 in the two categories.
--Antonio Brown got cleared by the league to make his debut with Tampa Bay in Week 9, Nov. 8, after signing his one-year contract. He had been suspended the first eight games of this season for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy, which is up after Week 8.
--ESPN reported that Jacksonville running back Ryquell Armstead is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to Covid-19 complications. Neither Armstead nor the Jags have confirmed he contracted the virus, but he has reportedly been hospitalized twice and continues to struggle with “significant respiratory issues” among other problems.
Armstead is just a few days shy of his 24th birthday. The 2019 fifth-round draft pick played all 16 games last season, and after Jacksonville cut Leonard Fournette, he was in line to be the team’s starting back. This sucks, but yet another reminder of the power of this virus.
--Frankly, it’s a miserable schedule for this week with perhaps the most important contest being No. 7 Cincinnati (4-0) and Memphis (3-1).
3 Ohio State at 18 Penn State is also important, assuming the Nittany Lions recover from their shocking loss to Indiana.
Otherwise, 17 Indiana at Rutgers has become intriguing after the Scarlet Knights’ terrific opening performance in Greg Schiano’s return.
--But the big story in college football is the situation at Wisconsin, after it was first reported Sunday that quarterback Graham Mertz, who looked phenomenal in the Badgers’ opener against Illinois, tested positive for Covid-19. Then Chase Wolf, a backup for Mertz, tested positive.
The two then took a PCR test to confirm the results or rule it a false positive, and a source told ESPN that at least Mertz’s positive was indeed confirmed (no word as yet on Wolf’s as I go to post). According to Big Ten Covid protocols, Mertz, and possibly Wolf, will miss a minimum of 21 days!
Wisconsin was already without starter Jack Coan, who suffered a foot injury in preseason practice and underwent surgery. He’s out indefinitely.
Badger coach Paul Chryst told reporters Monday he had no problem with the Big Ten rules, which are more stringent than those of other leagues. “For us to play, if that is something that’s in the best interest of everyone involved, then I completely support it.”
The school said no player who participated in Friday’s game tested positive before the game or reported any symptoms.
--Wake Forest’s Nick Anderson, the walk-on freshman who had three interceptions in Wake’s upset of Virginia Tech last Saturday, will indeed now be receiving a scholarship, as confirmed today by coach Dave Clawson, to go into effect next semester.
“Nick, that’s my homeboy. He’s a hell of a player. Walk-on but we treat him like a starter, we treat him like a scholarship player. If anybody on the team deserves a scholarship on the roster, it’s Nick,” said senior star defensive end Boogie Basham.
--Monday, Tottenham defeated Burnley 1-0 on another goal by Son Heung-min, assisted once again by Harry Kane, as this duo is off to an incredible start to the PL season.
Son and Kane have now combined for 29 Premier League goals, which is just seven behind the record held by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard (Chelsea).
Son already has eight goals this season, and Kane has been directly involved in 13 goals (five goals and eight assists) – a record for a Premier League player after six games.
Kane has already broken his personal record for assists in a Premier League season with the eight, and he has 32 games to go. He has also been playing terrific defense.
So yeah, this Spurs fan is kind of psyched for the rest of the season. But there are two issues. Kane always seems to suffer a midseason injury, and coronavirus is a huge problem in the UK, let alone the rest of Europe. Fingers crossed that somehow they get a full season in.
--Yes, it is very early, but it’s setting up to be a fascinating campaign in the PL.
Standings after 5/6 of 38…games, points
1. Everton…6 – 13 …ahead on goal differential
2. Liverpool…6 – 13
3. Aston Villa…5 – 12
4. Leicester City…6 – 12
5. Tottenham…6 – 11
6. Leeds…6 – 10
7. Southampton…6 – 10
8. Crystal Palace…6 – 10
9. Wolves…6 – 10
So what should you notice with the above? No Chelsea, Man City, Man U or Arsenal.
--The PGA Tour travels to Bermuda this week for the Bermuda Championship at beautiful Port Royal Golf Course. It’s not a great field for a number of reasons, including the last event being in California, and the next one after this week in Houston, for the tune-up prior to the Masters.
At the same time, it can be a life-changing event if you win it, which is what Brendon Todd did last year.
And a commercial for Port Royal, repeating something I’ve said before. Decades ago I spent a week at the adjoining Pompano Beach Club, a delightful spot, from which I walked from my room to the clubhouse each morning to tee it up. Two guys from Kentucky who were staying at Pompano adopted me for the week and we had a blast. I’ve long regretted not staying in touch with them.
--Meanwhile, I didn’t have a chance to write much about Sunday’s action at the Zozo Championship, won by Patrick Cantlay, but Justin Thomas should have picked up win No. 14 in his career, but once again, he was the 54-hole leader (along with Jon Rahm) and couldn’t close the deal.
Thomas does have three wins and 12 top-10s in 21 starts in the past calendar year, but he has been one of the more outspoken players on the effects of playing without fans, saying the majors didn’t feel like majors and that he’s struggled with his adrenaline playing without galleries.
“I’ve got to find a way to kind of just stay a little bit more focused out there,” Thomas said. “It’s crazy, but sometimes it’s hard to just kind of keep the killer instinct and stay in the zone when it’s as quiet as it is out there.”
--NASCAR has had an incredibly frustrating time completing the Round of 8 Cup Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. They completed 52 of 334 laps Sunday before a misty rain intensified. They were then supposed to restart Monday, and the pesky rain continued, temperatures plummeting, and as I go to post, they still haven’t restarted the race and it’s late Tuesday! It’s a critical race for the championship….it’s got to be completed, at least to the halfway point for an official race.
--World 100-meter champion Christian Coleman will miss next year’s Tokyo Olympics after being banned for two years for breaching whereabouts rules, the Athletics Integrity Unity (AIU) said on Tuesday. Coleman, who narrowly escaped a ban last year for missing three doping tests, was provisionally suspended by the AIU in June.
“We regret to say that we do not think there is any mitigation which can fairly be relied upon to reduce the sanction from the two-year period,” the AIU said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we see this case as involving behavior by the athlete as very careless at best and reckless at worst.”
The American sprinter claimed at the time of his provisional suspension that anti-doping officials had not followed procedure when he missed them after going Christmas shopping on Dec. 9, 2019 at a time he had said he would be at home. Doping control officers testified before a disciplinary tribunal that they were present during the whole of the allotted hour of 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm on Dec. 9 in front of his house. Coleman in turn testified he had arrived home from Christmas shopping shortly before the end of the one-hour period. However, shopping receipts showed that Coleman had purchased 16 items from a Walmart Supercenter at 8:22 pm, the AIU said.
Coleman has missed other tests. He deserves this harsh penalty.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/28/67: #1 “To Sir With Love” (Lulu) #2 “The Letter” (The Box Tops) #3 “Never My Love” (The Association)…and…#4 “How Can I Be Sure” (The Young Rascals…sounds as good today as it did then…) #5 “Expressway To Your Heart” (Soul Survivors) #6 “It Must Be Him” (Vikki Carr…had a crush on her…) #7 “Soul Man” (Sam & Dave) #8 “Your Precious Love” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell…any tune from this duo was terrific…) #9 “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” (Aretha Franklin) #10 “Incense And Peppermints” (Strawberry Alarm Clock…. ‘A’ week…I go back and forth on whether 1965 or 1967 was the best year for Rock…)
Pittsburgh Steelers Placekicker Quiz Answer: Super Bowl kickers….
1974 (Roy Gerela), 1975 (Gerela), 1978 (Gerela), 1979 (Matt Bahr), 2005 (Jeff Reed), 2008 (Reed).
Ah yes, “Gerela’s Gorillas.”
Next Bar Chat, Monday.