NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Team USA, Kawhi and Westbrook

ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

Welcome to Monday, this week is going to be a great one because we're going to make it that way, right? Set it up and knock it down!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

This Saturday, from 3pm to 11pm the Stixx and Stonez Cigar Society is throwing a huge party slash donation drive, asking everyone to bring socks, washing powder and toiletries for donation at the Stixx and Stonez Sundresses and Summershirts Day Party. Check out the info, it looks like it's going to be awesome.

CONGRATS TO TEAM USA

First of all, congrats to Team USA for winning a record breaking fourth Women's World Cup. This is the kind of thing that should be celebrated at all levels by all Americans. This team was incredibly deep, incredibly talented and incredibly confident bordering on arrogant. They had the misfortune of playing France in Paris and survived, eliminating a host country in a World Cup is already one of the hardest things in sports and USA handled it with ease. Megan Repino has been fantastic as a leader who puts her money where her mouth is and scored so many clutch goals for this team and took so much of the pressure off the team and onto her own back. There has been some blowback on this team though with people mentioning the pay being unfair and making comments, internet sensation Nicole Arbour trying to say fan money should determine the pay for the Women's team. The reason that's a grossly inaccurate take is simply this, the Women's team is run by Team USA and even though the women's team beats the Men's team in ratings, attendance and probably sales of merchandise, they get paid less, get booked in worse stadiums and don't receive the same perks as far as travel and accommodations go. It is truly a pay disparity that warrants discussion, because while one team has won four world cups, the other didn't even qualify for the last World Cup.

THE KAWHI HAS LANDED

So did anyone see The Clippers coming? Anyone? I know I didn't, I'll cop to that in a heartbeat. So keeping their core roster intact and getting two max contract players is impressive, however I don't think this team is all that well positioned in a crowded West. Portland and Houston were already really good teams, the Lakers while adding Anthony Davis were a roster in progress and Utah added a great point guard to what was a quality roster and Dallas may be on the rise leaving The Clippers somewhere around the fifth or sixth best team in the West? Also Paul George isn't the guy everyone thinks he is, his metrics are all great. But when he matches up against quality guys like Dame Lillard, he gets beat. When there's a game 7 he scores ZERO points in three quarters, he's a shrinking violet in my estimation and I don't know that this team is going to be as successful as the roster indicates which after giving up all those picks to get him is exactly the kind of news they don't want to get because as presently constructed this is the roster.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TO HOUSTON?

So yesterday afternoon the news broke that the Rockets were heavily pursuing a trade for Russell Westbrook, while keeping Chris Paul, meaning the team would basically be Harden, Paul, Westbrook and some people. Honestly, I say go for it. The reason I think this is a good move for the Rockets is because no one is going to bail us out of the Chris Paul deal, no one. So if we have Chris Paul for the next three years then this is the window, load up as best as you can and just maximize your opportunity in what is still a wide open Western Conference. No team got that vaunted third star on their roster and Toronto proved you don't need two stars even to win a championship if the roster is deep enough and theirs obviously was, so literally anyone in the West can win this year, why not try and be the best team in the West and go from there.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

I told you guys the NBA free agency was one of the most exciting in sports, I hope you believed me.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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After a short turnaround, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to their Mecca at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the famed Coca-Cola 600. Of all the races in NASCAR, after Daytona this race may be the most important race on the schedule. The tradition started back in 1959 when former driver and hall of famer Curtis Turner teamed up with Burton Smith to build the track and upon its completion, they decided to make the first race at the new track on the same day as the Indy 500. In an effort to draw fans, they made the race 100 miles longer and from there the rest was history. This year's rendition will be somber though as no fans will be permitted to enter due to Covid-19, but even in this time of unrest it will be a relief to continue to see our heroes take on NASCAR's longest race.

For the first time, NASCAR pulled off it's first midweek race and it was a doozy. For most of the race there was a wide range of characters who were up front. Clint Bowyer set the tone early as he went on to win the first two stages but after getting caught in traffic he fell back. To make matters worse, Bowyer was involved in an accident that ended any chance of victory. While it wasn't the outcome he would have hoped for, to see how well he ran is a sign of good things to come for the Kansas native. I look forward to seeing how he rebounds.

With Bowyer out of it, the attention shifted to Chase Elliott. All night it seemed like he had the second best car and looked to be on his way to another victory but after the caution for Bowyer, Elliott lost a ton of track position after a bad pit-stop. This left the sports most popular driver stuck in traffic, but he was able to make his way back to second. In the final laps, he was easily the best car and appeared to be on his way past Denny Hamlin to take the victory but Kyle Busch had other ideas. The defending champion made a sudden right hand turn and veered into Elliott sending him head on into the wall.

It was safe to say that Elliott was not pleased as he gave Busch the one finger salute as he drove by under caution. The race was not able to resume as Mother Nature intervened giving Hamlin his second win of the season. Many fans and experts alike were critical of Busch's stunt, Jeff Gordon was quoted as saying "Not sure what that was all about." When the race was over, Busch was confronted by Elliott's Crew Chief Alan Gufston. When it was said and done security had to be called to separate the two. While it might not have been intentional, Busch has opened up a can of worms in the future for retaliation. It will be fun to watch what happens next.

Overall, the response to NASCAR's midweek race was overwhelmingly positive as it was the third highest watched event on television. As NASCAR continues to be fluid, more and more people are becoming interested. NASCAR journalist and reporter Adam Stern tweeted that more than thirty percent of the viewers of Sunday's race were new viewers. Even though we may not always agree with the way NASCAR does things, I have to say they have done an outstanding job at putting this schedule together. I hope that in the future, NASCAR continues this new tradition.

Moving on to Charlotte, The driver I have winning this weekend is Chase Elliott. In every race this season, Chase has been a force to be reckoned but has simply run into circumstances he can't control. At Vegas before the shutdown, he seemed to have the race in hand until a flat tire ended any chances of victory. Two weeks later at Phoenix, he led ninety-three laps until fading to a seventh place finish and with a new-found fire lit under him after Darlington, Elliott will be like a bull in the china shop come Sunday. While he has been great at every track he has run at, he has been especially fast at Charlotte. He currently has a 10.60 average finish there and has consistently led laps. This week, I think Elliott will get redemption and claim his sixth career victory in one of NASCAR's crown jewels. Look for him to take his #9 Napa Camaro to victory lane.

(All stats and information used in this article is brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com the best website for all NASCAR stats)

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