Every-Thing Sports

Santa Jermaine hands out gifts for the Houston sports scene

Houston Roockets Official Twitter account

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" I'm sure you've all heard that jingle/song line/phrase in one way shape or form over the last few weeks. Probably more than many of you would have cared to hear. It's Christmas time and you'll be hearing all sorts of Christmas music, Christmas jingles, and the like.

Every year at Christmas, you inevitably get a gift, or gifts, that you don't like. You may have even gotten gifts you can't return. Here in Houston, there are some special gifts Santa Jermaine would like to give out to some of the local sports scene:

Chris Paul

I would like to gift Chris Paul some new legs this year. Last year, as many Rockets fans would say, the team was "a hamstring away from the Finals!" Well Houston, I'm here to take away the pain from the idea of paying a 33 year old point guard $160 million dollar extension this past offseason. Once he gets his new legs, think of the scene from Forrest Gump when he takes off running and sheds the leg braces.

The Astros

This team is poised to be a World Series contender for years to come. However, they have some key decisions to make, and they need to be made now. I will gift the Astros Yankee/Red Sox/Dodger money. Sure, this won't be the answer to all their problems, but it will solve a lot of them. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole will be free agents after the season. George Springer, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman will all need to be paid as well. Hell, Dallas Keuchel doesn't look like he's poised to return this offseason and Lance McCullers is out with Tommy John surgery and will need to be resigned when/if he's healthy.

James Harden

The Beard won league MVP last season, but the team is off to a bad start. He's doing what he can to keep them afloat for now, but he needs help. Well, help is on the way in the form of a Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant-type killer instinct and defensive intensity. Harden is the best one on one scorers in this generation. The constant complaint across the board is that he lacks that killer instinct, defensive intensity, and consistent effort guys like MJ and Kobe had. If he gets this gift, do you think the Rockets win a ring any time soon? Better yet: why do they need this gift and Chris Paul's gift? Well…

Darryl Morey

…the Rockets need those gifts because their G.M. is sometimes too smart for his own good. I want to give Morey the gift of using his Jedi mind tricks when trading again. He was able to get Harden from the Thunder for a bag of basketballs and some magic beans. If Chris Paul's gift fails to work, or the team isn't able to improve from within or maybe even if it's not working over the next couple years, how could you waste Harden's prime?

Deshaun Watson

Watson is living up to all the hype. He's a playmaking quarterback that will be with the Texans for the next 10-15 years…if he's healthy and continues to improve. For Watson, I will gift him Tom Brady and Drew Brees' ability to stay healthy, as well as their decision-making. If there's a knock on him, it's his health and ability to read defenses and get the ball off. Taking sacks will contribute to his health questions. This is by proxy a gift to DeAndre Hopkins. A healthy Watson with better decision-making will help him in his quest to be this team's all-time best receiver.

Honorable Mention

Gow Media- The gift of me as a full-time employee. The Dynamo- A bigger fan base. U of H Football- A great coach who wants to be a Coog for life. Bill O'Brien- An offensive coordinator/quality control specialist.

There are more gifts to give. If you guys have any, hit me up. I'd love to know what you think.

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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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