Jermaine Every: A few things on my brain this week
This was one of those weeks in which my ADD wouldn’t allow me to write about one thing. It’s also a week in which the diarrhea of words coming from my keyboard had to be kept at a respectable number because I don’t want to overdo it or bore you guys either. With that said, read on…
This Astros regime gets it
Gone are the days of Drayton McLane and Ed Wade putting Band Aids on gushing gashes. We are now living in the Jim Crane/Jeff Luhnow era. There’s already a title in hand, and they’re built to win over the next two to four years and maybe more. Jose Altuve’s contract extension is further evidence that the Astros’ new regime truly gets it. He’s proof that hard work pays off. Doesn’t hurt that he’s extremely humble and seems embarrassed about the attention he gets. Keeping the greatest Astro ever around for the foreseeable future shows commitment to keeping this team competitive. Remaining competitive is a tricky deal. It can often backfire with disastrous results. With that said, they also know they can’t keep everyone. Dallas Keuchel is more than likely in his last season as an Astro, but they’ve acquired Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and have some nice pitching prospects to fill the void. George Springer wasn’t happy about his arbitration case was going to go, or when he was brought up to the main roster. He and the team settled on a two year deal worth $24 million dollars to avoid arbitration, so I imagine he’ll be testing the free agent waters as soon as he’s eligible. They’ve also brought guys up when they’re ready (not past their prime), and have traded prospects for proven MLB talent. If those aren’t signs they “get it,” I don’t know what else to tell you to convince you.
The University of Houston Cougars men’s basketball team came within a couple made free throws and a Christian Laettner-type 3-pointer from making it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. My heart goes out to Devin Davis. Many will point to his missed free throws that could have iced the game as the reason why they lost, but there were several other reasons why they didn’t win (like the inconsistent at best refs). They’re going to lose their best player in senior guard Rob Gray, but Coach Kelvin Sampson has two of the ESPN Top 100 recruits coming in next season, as well as a couple JUCO transfers. After notching the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory in over 30 years, I can see the Coogs making it back next season. I really hope this propels them back to prominence. Houston is a fertile recruiting ground for basketball. Here’s to the Coach Sampson bringing that program back to the national spotlight.
David beat Goliath
The 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey team beating the Russians, University of Houston stopping U.C.L.A.’s streak, Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson…now we can add 16 seed University of Maryland-Baltimore County mollywhopping 1 seed University of Virginia in the men’s NCA basketball tournament to the list of improbable upsets. No. 16 seeds were 0-135 before Friday’s stunning upset. Not only did they pull off the impossible, they did it in grand fashion. The final score of 74-54 showed how the Retrievers were able to beat the Cavaliers’ pressure defense, cause turnovers themselves, and score at will. The beatdown was so convincing, they spent the last three to four minutes celebrating while the game was still going on. They lost in the next round to Kansas State 50-43 in a game theycamethisclose to winning. A play here, a play there, and we’d be talking about a 16 seed in the Sweet 16! Let that sink in for a minute! I don’t want to become a prisoner of the moment, so I’ll leave you with this thought: Wait a couple years and look back on this game. If it still holds itself in that high a regard, which I believe it will, then we have the greatest upset in the history of sports.
There’s so much more I could go on and on about, but I’m told I only have so much bandwith here. However, fear not! I’m always available on Twitter, and recently partnered with Craig Koshkin on The Sideline podcast as well (episode 39 was our maiden voyage). So if you have any questions, comments, concerns or criticisms, get at me. I’d love to hear from everyone. Even the haters because I love y'all too.