"The Stack" 8-15-17
The Stack is back on this Tuesday and my humblest apologies. I had every intent on posting yesterday, but sometimes, things happen and I was unable to get the post up online. Plenty of headlines to get to today so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Tuesday, August 15th:
Justin Thomas wins PGA Championship
Did we see an emerging star win his first major at Quail Hollow on Sunday or is Justin Thomas just another one of these first time major winners who won’t win another major or be a major factor? For 24-year old Justin Thomas, I believe it is the latter. Thomas won the PGA Championship Sunday shooting eight under (-8) for the tournament. The turning moment for Thomas on Sunday was his putt on the tenth hole that stopped with the ball halfway over the cup practically. After what seemed like an eternity when in fact it was only about nine or ten seconds. When that putt dropped a roar went over the crowd and that propelled Thomas to victory it seemed like. It helped that guys in front of him like Hideki Matsuyama fell apart to a degree, but make no mistake about it, Thomas won this and he has plenty of talent. Is he going to be someone like Jordan Spieth? I’m going to say no, because I truly think Jordan Spieth is something special, but Thomas is a guy who will definitely win multiple majors. Golf’s majors have come to an end for this year.
Ezekiel Elliott suspended six games
Unless you live under a rock or a pineapple under the sea, you no doubt know by now that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended six games by the NFL for the domestic violence situation that has been hanging over his head since last year that happened in Columbus, Ohio. The announcement came Friday. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is said to be furious and Elliott’s team has vowed to appeal this and fight it and take it to court if necessary. The NFL recently adopted a six game suspension policy on domestic violence issues. Players don’t necessarily have to be arrested or taken to court. The NFL is going to look at evidence that they obtain. Now they may be making Elliott an example when they have whiffed on cases like Greg Hardy, Josh Brown and Ray Rice, but the fact of the matter is is that a suspension was likely for Elliott given the situation. Six games may be a little harsh, but that is what the league is going with now and that’s what it will be going forward. If Jones can come out and say that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a tough job after issuing a suspension to Tom Brady for #Deflategate and leveling penalties against the New England Patriots, he should bite his tongue and not be a hypocrite when it comes to Elliott who has done far worse than what Brady did.
Bills make a pair of trades
The other monster news on Friday were the two trades that the Buffalo Bills made that show clearly that the team is looking towards next year as they stockpile picks for the 2018 NFL Draft. They traded former first round wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for a second round pick and cornerback E.J. Gaines. They then traded cornerback Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third round pick. They now have six picks in the first three rounds in next year’s draft…two firsts, two seconds and two thirds. Watkins has been a disappointment since the team drafted him. He has a ton of talent, but he was often injured. For the Bills to recoup a second round pick is amazing. As for the Darby trade, losing cornerback Stephon Gillmore in the offseason hurt and Darby was their best cornerback on the current roster. Sending him hurts, but he wasn’t a fit for head coach Sean McDermott’s defense system. Getting a wide receiver who can help (though Matthews did injure himself in his first practice with the team) and a third round pick is pretty good value. The Bills have essentially waived the white flag on this season though they will probably finish 6-10 or 7-9, but they are ready to end the playoff drought next year.
Florida suspends seven players for Michigan game
The University of Florida has suspended seven players for the season opening game against Michigan in Jerry World. The suspended players include wide receiver Antonio Callaway who is easily the team’s best receiver. The players are being suspended for making improper charges on their school IDs and then selling those items for cash. Is it the biggest crime in the world? No. Is Florida doing the right thing by suspending them for the Michigan? Depends on who you ask. You want to win that game, because Michigan is going to be very good this year. At the end of the day though, Florida had to do something because these players were in the wrong and if they can see that they have cost their team a golden opportunity, then hopefully they will not do anything like this again.
Lynch, Bennett sit for national anthem
The NFL has another potential situation on their hands. This has something to do with what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, perhaps, but as Seattle Seahawks Michael Bennett has said or implied before he is doing it for the injustice that he sees going on in this country. He is right about that. Both Bennett and Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat for the national anthem over the weekend. The backlash at least as it stands right now (pun intended??) doesn’t seem to be nearly as big as when Colin Kaepernick did it last year. It is approaching the one year anniversary of Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem as well. Lynch has his detractors, but many people look at Lynch defying the NFL when it comes to meeting with the NFL media and saying that he just walks to the beat of his own drum. Bennett is a smart guy and very eloquent with his words. He knows what is going on and he is articulating his feelings so that people understand. While I wouldn’t necessarily sit for the national anthem, they are well within their right to. The hypocritical person though should be saying they will boycott the NFL for Bennett and Lynch sitting though since 26 percent of people said they watched fewer NFL games last year because of Kaepernick sitting for the national anthem. That is a downright disgrace and a terrible excuse. The outrage though at least to this point is minor and Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job.
The NBA schedule was released Monday night and one thing I notice at least just from looking at the Minnesota Timberwolves schedule is that they have a lot of back-to-backs (at least 12 by my count) and many games that are every other day, but the four games in five days does not appear to be happening. By putting many games every other day is the NBA guaranteed not to have players sit due to rest? I sincerely doubt that. It doesn’t appear that they are fully getting the rest between games that they are looking for, but with fewer back-to-back games and fewer if no four games in five days, the NBA is doing what they can by also extending the regular season to ensure the players get the rest they want and the fans don’t have to pay hard earned money to go watch a game that doesn’t feature the brightest stars.
Also, did you see Ice Cube beat LaVar Ball in a four point contest in the Big 3 league? While it was painful to watch, Ice Cube did win and shut Ball up…at least for now. Good. Keep shutting that clown up.
Before we go, thoughts and prayers are with the people in Charlottesville after a weekend marred by violence and the death when white nationalist/supremacists group took to the streets and the University of Virginia campus for a rally. Hate has no place in this country and these white nationalist and supremacist groups are the definition of hate and evil. To heck with you all. Go home and keep your hate there. Awful to see what happened and justice hopefully can be served to members who attended this rally.
Coming up Wednesday or later this week: Reaction to top stories in sports