Welcome back to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – where we pick apart something good, something not so good, and something really not good that has happened this past week in sports. Let’s dive in!
The Good: Third Annual Basketball Day Indiana
Yesterday, Saturday January 19th, was the third annual basketball day in the state of Indiana. In partnership with FOX Sports Indiana, the Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever, and the IHSAA, the day involved a full 14 hours straight of basketball games and television coverage. These games ranged from five high school games, to three college basketball games, and finishing the night off with the Pacers hosting Dallas at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Purdue beat the Hoosiers led by Indiana native Romeo Langford, Butler beat St. John’s at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, Valpo beat Northern Iowa, and the Pacers beat the Mavericks. All in all a successful day of basketball for Indiana, the only real surprise is that everyday in Indiana isn’t basketball day. But hey – there is always room for improvement.
The Bad: New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans currently sit four games out of the playoffs and have lost three of their last four. But that’s not the bad part. The Pelican’s star Anthony Davis is expected to miss the next one to two weeks with a sprained index finger. During that stretch New Orleans will play Oklahoma, San Antonio, Houston, and Denver and could continue their downward spiral out of the playoffs.
The bleaker the Pelican’s outlook gets, the more pressing their Anthony Davis situation becomes as the young star has a massive payday coming and a player option on his contract in 2020.
The Ugly: New England Patriots Underdog Narrative
A tale as old as time: the New England Patriots in the postseason. After crushing the Chargers last week, the Patriots play in Kansas City against the red hot Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. While the playoffs are not new to the Patriots, being an underdog is. According to Vegas the Chiefs are a three point favorite to win, which is traditionally the standard line for home teams. However the Patriots seem to be reveling in their new “underdog status” and leveraging it for bulletin board material. This boiled over in the lands of absurdity when Patriots receiver Julian Edelman started selling the following shirt online:
While in this one specific game the Patriots are technically not betting favorites, since the turn of the century the Patriots have made the playoffs 16 times, the AFC Championship game 13 times, and the Super Bowl 8 times. That string of dominance is unparalleled in professional football and gives New England no ground to ever, under any circumstances, be considered an underdog.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.