Welcome to the 99th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where the dress colors are always agreed upon. Let’s get into it…
I have mentioned at some point during each of the past few weeks that this is one of the slower times on the sports calender. Well, this past week had to be the single least newsworthy (most un-newsworthy?) week I can remember since I’ve been doing these blogs. The Avalanche are out of the playoff picture and took several huge steps backwards after last season’s amazing regular season. The Nuggets are a debacle and laughing stock and have finally entered all-out tank mode. The University of Colorado basketball team is having one of the most disappointing seasons in the country and are a complete afterthought. Colorado State basketball is good and should be tourney-bound, but they are in a lull in their schedule with a boring home game against San Jose State Wednesday night and an idle Saturday. The Broncos stuck Demaryius Thomas with the franchise tag, but that was far from a surprise. And I make it a point to not pay much attention to THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE in late February and early March because there aren’t any damn games for more than six months and draft speculation is absolutely awful in every way. In baseball, players have reported to Spring Training, but the exhibition games haven’t even started yet, so the stories coming out of Arizona are things like Tulo is running the bases or Weiss is confident in Lyles’ change-up.
So yeah, you get the idea. Not much going down ’round these parts these days.
For me, the most interesting of all these non-stories is probably the Nuggets’ noble quest of losing as many games as possible. Breaking down what has gone wrong thus far is pretty pointless by now. (Answer: Everything.) Among other things, the Nuggets, like most teams in the Association, are in desperate need of a franchise-changing superstar. With that in mind, I’m adding a new segment that will likely stick around the weekly departments for the next six weeks. I present the debut of NBA TANK WATCH 2015:
- New York, 12-46, .207
- Philadelphia, 13-47, .217
- Minnesota, 13-46, .220
- Los Angeles (Lakers), 16-42 .276
- Orlando, 19-42, .311
- Denver, 20-39, .339
- Sacramento, 20-37, .351
- Detroit, 23-36, .390
(Obviously, the “higher” ranking represents the worst record, and thus the greater chance for a higher pick.)
So the Nuggets currently have the 6th-worst record in the NBA with 23 games remaining. They are 1-9 in their last 10 and have lost 10 in a row at home. They’re starting to get the hang of this tanking thing! They’re only three games back of both Orlando and the Lakers in the loss column. So if the Nuggets can continue their impressive run of losing, they could jump up to the fourth slot with a little help. Come lottery time, that would give them a decent shot at the first pick, and an excellent shot at a top-three pick, which would be ideal.
Woah wait look at this! The Nuggets fired Brian Shaw a few hours ago! Actual news happened! Something to talk about! I guess Shaw’s books on relating to millennials or his pregame raps didn’t help much.
The timing of this decision is the most curious aspect to me. As mentioned earlier, the Nuggets have finally embraced all-out tank mode. That’s a good thing. That’s a necessary thing. The way the players were playing under Shaw, it looked like they may not win another game this season, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME!
So why now? What is the point of firing him with 23 games and six weeks left? Why not ride this tank job out for the rest of the year and fire him then? Or, I suppose, re-evaluate things and consider keeping Shaw around? My thinking is that the locker room had gotten so bad, had turned on him so entirely that Josh Kroenke decided the culture that would exist by keeping him around was just too detrimental to the long term process in spite of all the losses (which are good).
Melvin Hunt was announced as the interim head coach. He better not screw this whole thing up by getting these guys to play hard and win games.
Seriously, that would be the worst thing possible the Nuggets right now.
Off to the weekly departments…
Douches of the week:
Take the time to go read this blog post from Curt Schilling. Schilling’s writing is all over the map, but his overall point and message are important. Schilling is a Republican and Christian and is what’s commonly referred to as an “outspoken figure” on Twitter, so a lot of people hate him. Most of his tweets and blog posts are, presumably, met with vitriol from the troll masses. That comes with the territory and should be expected.
This one is different.
Quick recap: Schilling sends completely innocuous tweet congratulating his 17-year-old daughter on making college softball team. Tweet is met with some standard “guy jokes” like “Can’t wait to party with her” or “You don’t mind if I date her, right?”. Schilling acknowledges that this is mostly acceptable. Schilling later starts receiving next-level, disgusting, abhorrent tweets about his daughter, including rape jokes/threats. (Schilling’s description is apt: “But I can’t ever remember, drunk, in a clubhouse, with best friends, with anyone, ever speaking like this to someone…) Schilling publishes their names, schools, fraternities, etc. As of today, they’ve been fired and suspended. Today, Schilling told Dan Patrick he will be pressing charges against every single one of them.
This whole topic has so many levels to it and I’m not really sure where to start. My first reaction was something along the lines of My God, this world is going to hell in handbasket. How in the world does someone see a tweet from someone they don’t like, about about that someone’s 17-year-old daughter and have those things run through their head? And then how in the world do they take the time to translate those thoughts onto their phone or computer? And how in the world do they hit “Send”? 1. What could possibly compel someone to do those things? 2. How could someone possibly be dumb enough to do those things?
This isn’t the standard Shut up Schilling and go to hell type trolling. (Though standard attacks like those also seem unhealthy and problematic; that’s a different, but related, conversation.) This is criminal and psychopathic. And that crap is probably far more common than we realize.
Is this just the way the world is now? Do I need to get used to stories like these? When I’m a super-famous sportswriter with 2 million followers on whatever takes the place of Twitter in 20 years, will I be able to mention my (nonexistent) teenage daughter without wanting to murder anonymous people with silly pretend names?
Or will things evolve? Will the masses slowly start to understand how the internet works? In 20 years will we look back at these early days of widespread social media use as the Wild West Days and say Man can you believe people just said whatever they wanted, to whomever they wanted, on public accounts and thought they would get away with it?
I dunno, man. I think the biggest problem is that people would never, ever say any of this to anyone in person. That’s what has changed. Just 10 years ago if you were a psychopathic freak and you said this stuff, people would go Hey! You’re a psychopathic freak. I am going to alert the authorities! Or you would just get your ass beat and that would be the end of it. So nobody said stuff like that. But now everybody has access to technologies that allow you to communicate to anyone you want anonymously. Anonymous online communication won’t be going away any time soon. And I’m thinking disturbing stories like this won’t be either.
Anyway it’s a pretty interesting topic, even if it is concerning and disturbing. Hey I know! Maybe let’s try not be mean to each other on the internet. (This tangent is an example what happens when there are not a lot of sports to talk about.)
OKAY MOVING ON…
Studs of the week:
God bless these llamas.
Vine(s) of the week:
Just another thing I could totally do if I felt like it.
I’m not quite sure how to feel about watching James Harden kick LeBron James in the nuts:
I also enjoyed watching Madonna topple over on stage. All the masked deer-men with mantlers aren’t sure how to react!
Tweet of the week:
Juan Pierre reflecting on his power numbers after announcing his retirement after 14 seasons.
Juan Pierre was always pretty damn cool. Naturally, he played his best baseball after he left Colorado, but I always liked his game and swagger. Baseball needs more Juan Pierres.
Photo of the week
This is amazing. The woodpecker is under attack, but it’s more fun if you pretend he and the weasel are pals going for a ride. WEEEEEE!! Or if the Wally the Weasel somehow owns Woody and is riding him like a jet ski. Yeah, see. That’s way more fun. (More actual details here.)
A couple other things worth sharing:
I loved this “flash mob” (not entirely sure that term applies) from Maryland’s student section during their upset over Wisconsin. College is fun, man.
This hilarious shot is worth a laugh:
(Don’t try to ruin my fun and tell me he was trying to pass it to that guy in the corner either, dammit.)
And finally, If you haven’t seen this video yet, stop and watch. Absolutely amazing. (Hence 10 million views in 2 days. If you’re the impatient type, skip to the 0:45 mark.)
Something about saving the life of an unconscious man rapidly plummeting towards the earth makes for pretty captivating footage.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week for my 100th post.
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