Another week of no games. Lots of speculation about if and when the games will resume and how they’d be scheduled.
Television has been running alternate programming. Last weekend, CBS ran NCAA Tournament Rewind, a replay of games that were dandies, like the 1983 national championship, the 1992 Duke-Kentucky, Christian Laettner regional final and others.
This weekend CBS will have more of the same including the historic 1985 NCAA title game, one of the great upsets of all-time, Villanova over Georgetown.
Sports talk show hosts on national radio don’t have the ability during the coronavirus environment to reference today’s games, because there are none. Listeners are not eager to rehash old events, classic or not, played 35 years ago.
Still, the big names keep their listeners tuned in.
We listened, and here’s what they’re saying.
Colin Cowherd of Fox:
- Cowherd believes that former offensive lineman superstar, Travis Frederick, made quarterback Dak Prescott look better than he really is. Before Frederick’s retirement due to a rare nerve disorder or when he wasn’t sidelined due to injury, the Cowboys allowed the second fewest number of sacks in the league. During 2018 which Frederick missed, the front line allowed the second largest number of sacks in the league. Cowherd insists that Frederick’s retirement will halt Prescott’s desire to remain a Cowboy for the long haul. Without Frederick, Cowherd says, Prescott will be exposed as “good” but not “great.”
Jim Rome/CBS Radio:
- The signing by the New Orleans Saints of wide receiver free agent Emmanuel Sanders who played for Denver and San Francisco last season makes them an explosive juggernaut. Interestingly, Sanders’ grandmother was actually a big impetus for his ultimate signing with the Saints. She, Rome says, “loves Drew Brees, loves Sean Payton, loves the offense, and loves to watch them play.”
- When a Colts’ fan called into the show and derided Philip Rivers because he throws interceptions and gets sacked too often, Rome disputed him. Jim spewed Rivers’ career numbers to reinforce his point. He also claimed that Rivers still has the desire and intelligence for the game.
Golic and Wingo/ESPN Radio:
- Golic and Wingo are unsure if the Patriots are still a playoff team without Brady in addition to having lost key pieces of their offensive and defensive core. (You’ll recall that Colin Cowherd thinks that next year’s Patriots will be 4-12 or 5-11 at best.)
- Golic and Wingo kid each other about who is struggling more from self-isolation and how each one is dealing with the coronavirus. Like many others in the broadcast business, the two hosts are adhering to social distancing and doing their shows from their homes.
- Golic and Wingo react to Clemson’s shutdown of Trevor Lawrence’s #GoFundMe for concern that it might violate NCAA rules which would potentially make next year’s junior quarterback ineligible. The NCAA says it’s Clemson, the school itself, that made this decision. As for LSU’s Joe Burrow, he used his Heisman speech to encourage people to donate money to the food pantry in Athens, Ohio. That seemed to sit better with regulators. So, Lawrence’s #GoFundMe seemed to have stirred the pot and was removed.
Chris Russo/MadDog Channel on SiriusXM:
- Chris Russo does not see the Cowboys replacing Dak Prescott, 26, with Cam Newton, 30, because of their age differences. Russo feels that although Prescott is a little better than okay, he isn’t worth the money he’s being paid. However, Dallas is capable of winning with him. While Newton would cost the Cowboys less, if he does play well for one year, he would also demand more money.
- During this coronavirus crisis, there have been numerous suggestions covering sports schedules once seasons resume or in the case of baseball, starts. One suggestion that Russo heard was a neutral site for the World Series. He dismissed it immediately as a potential failure because local fans won’t travel for a seven game series away from home. “It’s not the Super Bowl,” he said.
- The Buccaneers had to cancel a welcoming press-conference for Brady for fear that tons of media members would cram into one facility, violating governmental guidelines to remain socially distant.
- Russo implores his listeners to study the history of sports too. Everyone should have a vast knowledge on a wide range of sports throughout different times in history.
- A listener, Dominic from North Carolina, called in to the show, to discuss with Russo why the Panthers’ Cam Newton was released after nine seasons. Dominic believes that New England might be a destination for Newton or ex- Bucs QB Jameis Winston. Russo disagrees, insisting that there is no way Bill Belichick will want Winston after the Buccaneers signed his old QB, Brady. It would basically be a “QB Swap,” which would stun Russo. Russo has an inkling that Newton will sign with the Chargers or the Patriots. He is unsure if Belichick will want a running QB after Brady departed.
- Tampa Bay has a great home schedule Russo says, with Brady and company hosting the Vikings, Packers, Rams, and Chiefs.
Dan Le Batard/ESPN:
- Le Batard says that “Texas ranks number one in drinking alcohol during the coronavirus” and jokes that Florida must be in the top five.
- Le Batard and partner Stugotz are enjoying their quarantine and are “totally good” with social distancing.
- Seth Wickersham, a writer for ESPN, discusses how the Patriots’ system is “a hard system to be a part of as a player.” So after several championship runs and tense contract negotiations, Brady needed a change.
- According to Wickersham, Brady didn’t really have a set plan when he entered the free agency market. He spoke to various teams, seeking leverage against Belichick on a contract extension., also
- Jeff Darlington, also an ESPN reporter, said Brady has been very supportive of Antonio Brown in his personal recovery and his hope for reinstatement into the NFL. His departure from New England affected Brady in some sense.
- Stugotz said that other NFL teams didn’t pursue Brady, only because they felt he would ultimately sign with the Bucs. According to him, it had nothing to do with the fact that Brady is 42.
- The suspension of sports schedules due to coronavirus didn’t hit Le Batard and Stugotz until Sunday when ESPN carried WrestleMania and CBS didn’t have the NCAA Tournament.