#WudderSports Quick Hits: NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft, First Bombcast, Serena's Firstborn, Jetes & Jeb, O'Really
Lots of stuff to get to today, so let's skip the intro and let's get it:!
2017 NFL Draft in PHILADELPHIA
Well, Gang…NFL Draft weekend is upon us.
On the personal front? First draft spent on the East Coast in 15 years, and first one watched without my West Coast Consigliere, Kenny LeMay, DVR-ing it for us to hit fast-forward/pause thru while watching after work in L.A, as was our annual tradition for the last decade and a half.
For a larger swath of sample size, i.e. football fans all across the country, it’s the first NFL Draft not in New York City. More importantly, it’s officially in the birthplace of both yours truly and this nation: Philadelphia, PA.
What more can we say?
Well, quite a bit if you’re interested in slogging thru a listen to #WudderSports raw-and-uncut, ‘really rough draft’ episode of the first official Respond/React Bombcast, hosted by yours truly, with his longtime road DAWGS, Roy and Jason.
It’s about the same length as Nas’ Illmatic, just nowhere near as polished or perfect. But for some dieheard Wudder fans, Birds Fans, NFL Draft enthusiasts and NBA Fans looking to hear some loose-lipped opining on those subjects, feel free to give it a listen and Respond/React with any of your own feedback.
We promise to get better, broaden the subject matter into other forms of popular culture, add a modicum of production value, bring in additional guests, plus edit + post these on iTunes and other podcast host sources, once we get a few warm-up reps under our belt.
For now, some of you true and interested insiders can climb aboard now, then forevermore be able to say later that you were down since Day One ;)
At least two of the three principals will be over at the Penn Relays and over at the draft at Ben Franklin Parkway today, capturing some of the activities.
The words to live by for the weekend, is “Philly, don’t embarrass yourself”.
That goes for fans, media, players and especially, executives.
Because while we know today is the day that brings all the experts out of the woodwork...
Sometimes you know bad decisions have been made, even in the moment.
Brandon Graham Writing Offseason Checks Again
Brandon Graham seems like a nice guy. After a rough and injury-ravaged start to his career, spent in a scheme that didn’t exactly suit him, he finally started to pay dividends relative to his draft position over the last few seasons. Mind you, not paying off enough to justify being taken over a Super Bowl-winning, All-World safety Earl Thomas. But still, enough that he doesn’t get lumped into the Marcus Smith/Danny Watkins/Jon Harris Circle of Eagle Draft Infamy.
Some local Eagles’ reporters seemed impressed with Graham’s recent vow last week to concentrate more on getting sacks, rather than hurries. Okay, that’s nice. But we’ll wait and see from him, on any hope-trafficking talk like that. Because those same Eagles’ reporters and fans, seem to forget that Brandon Graham is the same guy who a couple years back, predicted he’d have 30 sacks in the upcoming 2015 season. He finished with 6 ½. You do the math.
Another week, another Williams’ milestone. This one informing us that not only is Serena pregnant, but that she broke the Open Era record for Grand Slam titles, winning the 2017 Australian Open, while pregnant. Find me a male athletic equivalent to that. Makes MJ's Flu Game, or Schill’s Bloody Sock, look tiny by comparison.
The only one who can top this would, of course, be Serena herself. If she wins the French Open in six weeks, with a pronounced baby bump protruding from her Catsuit? She may officially be Superwoman. If more likely she shuts it down for the rest of the season, preparing the charmed life growing inside her, for a future of her athletic genes and her fiancée's tech savvy + financial fortune? Well, we guess that’s fine too. At least that gives Venus, playing her best tennis in years, a legit crack at another major W, without her baby sister around to stomp out that dream.
NBA Playoffs: Hello, Goodbye
James Harden and a very talented cast of Houston Rockets say HELLO to the second round, seeking the franchise’s second visit to the Western Conference Finals, which they will likely again get thumped by the Golden State Warriors. Congrats to them. Though anybody believing this somehow validates Harden over Westbrook in the MVP Conversation after the fact, is sipping on some sizzurp. Harden was outscored by teammate Lou Williams in the two closeout victories. He’s got three dead-eye three-point shooters to pass two who shoot over 40%. He’s got a ‘first-team all-defense’ teammate in Patrick Beverley, assigned to cover whoever the other team’s best player is and whatever teammate James Harden is avoiding on that end.
This Thunder-Rockets matchup really deserved to go at least six. But alas, Steven Adams couldn’t find a way to stop Nene. Billy Donovan couldn’t afford to leave Russ on the bench long enough to get a breather and have any legs left on his fourth quarter jumpers. And most of all, the refs can’t stop giving The Beard that chintzy dive-into-the-defenders-body-with-outstretched-arms-while-tossing-some-bullshit-up-nowhere-near-the-rim foul call.
We say GOODBYE to Russell Westbrook and will miss him now that he's officially gone, as we assumed he probably would be, with this gang that can't shoot straight in OKC, following the first round. He truly gave us a season to remember.
I will not miss watching James Harden, great as he is, savvy as he is in gaming the current system, whenever he’s mercifully dispatched from the playoffs in the next few weeks, with that ticky-tacky whistle-reliant old-man game. As a viewer, it looks as frustrating as it is lame.
Jeb Bush & Derek Jeter Form Like Voltron to buy the Miami Marlins
Word around the Major-League Baseball campfire is that despised owner, flaunter of carpetbagging with public funds, as well as recently named U.S. Ambassador to France, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, is selling his team.
The buyers are rumored to be a group made up of Yankee legend Derek Jeter and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush.
With the most recent potential buyer, the Kushner Family, ruled out due to “conflict of interest” (follow MLB’s lead, USA), the hopes of South Florida baseball fans turn to Jetes & Jeb, to free themselves from Loria’s tangled web.
We wish them luck.
We also wanted to add, that no matter where you fall on Bush Family politics and practices, you have to at least admit that the Brothers Bush sure did know how to look good whenever tossing out a pitch or dodging one.
The O'Really?!? Factor
For those keeping score, yes, we did say the following thing in our last Quick Hits edition of #WudderSports:
Despite endless noise surrounding each, I hereby refuse to believe any of the following three things can or will happen, until they actually do:
1) Bill O’Reilly gets fired from FoxNews for sexual harassment.
2) Donald Trump is impeached by a majority Republican congress.
3) A LeBron James-led team fails to reach the NBA Finals in this decade.
Little could we have imagined that a week or so later, O’Reilly would be gone.
So that’s one down, hopefully #2 before #3 to go.
Even more shocking was the curveball, for all my #ThatSite Family of Friends, that was our internet homegirl/sister of 18 years, the great Fire Burgess, was quite possibly the final whistle-blower to move that pig out the paint.
And to be honest, if I’d known when I wrote those words, that Fire was gonna somehow be involved?
I would have never been foolish enough to doubt.
Because any of those who know our brave, brilliant, beautiful friend, understand that putting Fire on the case is like “sending the wolf” in Pulp Fiction.
Business shall be handled, efficiently and correctly.
“Hi, Mister O’Reilly!”-Luda
Thank You, Fire.
Stay tuned for more to come from #WudderSports Quick Hits, new Respond/React Bombasts, Saturday Night at the Fights coverage and a Live & Loco next week with thoughts on Sunday’s re-united Revolution show (we’ll explain later on PJ Harvey) at the TLA.
You can also stay tuned there for our collective staff-voted piece, counting down and discussing the greatest Native Tongues (Tribe, De La, Jungle, Black Sheep, Latifah, etc) albums of all-time, coming soon.
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Peace & Love,
Editor's Note: Both bookend shots taken at Veterans Stadium by Young Bambino, age 7, the night that his Pop got his boss at RCA's sweet seats.