Kap still waiting for phone call from NFL
June 2, 2017
Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .
Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a job in the NFL with training camps less than two months away. It's not because he is controversial. Michael Vick was controversial and he still found a job. It is not because Kaepernick is a mediocre quarterback. There are plenty of mediocre quarterbacks working in the NFL every year. Kaepernick is out of work because of some other reason. It might be that his heart is not into playing football anymore. He looked bored last season when he was on the field. He might be saying all the right things but when a coach sits him down and looks into his eyes and doesn't sense any passion or fire, well, nobody wants a backup who doesn't care. Maybe football just doesn't mean that much to Kaepernick anymore. Maybe his personality doesn't lend itself to being a good backup. Maybe he has become a bad teammate and a poor leader. Or maybe it's all of the above. Controversial, mediocre, black, a bad leader and teammate and bored with football would be tough to overcome for any NFL quarterback.
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Kaepernick visited the Seattle Seahawks this week and still has yet to sign a contract. The Seahawks don't have a legitimate backup quarterback behind starter Russell Wilson on their roster. My apologies to all the Trevone Boykin fans out there. Kaepernick is one of the few quarterbacks alive who could come off the bench cold and run Wilson's offense. Heck, there would be days when he could run it better than Wilson. You know the Seahawks aren't afraid of controversy. Sitting on the bench during the anthem doesn't even qualify as interesting, let alone controversial, in Seattle. The Seahawks are the Super Bowl champs of controversy every year. So why haven't they signed Kaepernick yet?
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San Francisco Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland had every right to throw at Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. It was personal. Strickland handled it the right way, hitting Harper below the waist where it hurt him the least. On the wallet. Harper also had a right to charge the mound and punch Strickland in the face. He also handled it the right way, deliberately throwing his helmet away from Strickland before throwing punches. This wasn't some old pitcher trying to teach young Harper how to act. Strickland is just four years older than Harper and Harper has even been in the big leagues two years longer than Strickland. This was just an example of how baseball polices itself. Flip the bat and admire your home run and you will get a pitch in the ribs. If you don't like it, go play golf or tennis.
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It doesn't look like the Giants can turn this awful season around anytime soon. The pitching staff is fine, despite missing Madison Bumgarner for all but four starts. It's just that this team can't hit. Heading into Thursday's games, Buster Posey had just 13 RBI. And that's because nobody is ever on base. It will be interesting to see what the Giants do at the trade deadline. Do they finally break this team up and admit the World Series years are over or do they do nothing and just extend the pain another year or two?
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The Nevada Wolf Pack baseball team just completed its worst season in four decades. The Pack finished 19-36 and got blown out in its two Mountain West tournament games. The 19-36 record is its worst since it went 12-23 in 1975. It is just the second season since 1975 that the program failed to win at least 20 games (19-28 in coach Gary Powers' first year in 1983). Coach T.J. Bruce is now 56-60 in two seasons as Pack coach. But it's not Bruce's fault. The Wolf Pack lost a ton of talent after the 2015 and 2016 seasons and were extremely young and inexperienced this year. Expect Bruce and the Pack to return to their customary level of 30-plus wins next year.
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Forget LeBron James. Forget Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. It's not about who is coaching the Golden State Warriors or if LeBron makes Draymond crazy again and gets him suspended for a game. The one player under the most pressure in this year's NBA Finals is Kevin Durant. If he can't win a title with this team, well, he might never win one. Durant must prove he's a champion this year. LeBron proved it in Miami and Cleveland. Michael Jordan finally proved it in Chicago after getting beat down by the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons for many years. John Elway and Peyton Manning finally did it in football. There comes a time when a superstar must win a championship. This is Durant's time.
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What is wrong with the Chicago Cubs? The Cubs have lost six games in a row — the last three to the lowly San Diego Padres — and have scored just nine runs in those six games. The Cubs' top highlight this season has been David Ross going to the Dancing With the Stars finals. Has the Billy Goat curse returned to Wrigley Field? Relax, Cubs fans. There is nothing wrong with the Cubs. The Cubs are not going to hit .235 all year. Kyle Schwarber is not going to continue to hit .165. Anthony Rizzo is not going to finish the year at .227 and Addison Russell is not going to hit .216 all season. The Cubs will be just fine. They will win the awful National League Central and go to the playoffs. And if they get another starting pitcher at the trade deadline they could go back to the World Series. But it is time they stop dressing up as characters in Will Ferrell movies on road trips and forget about 2016. Baseball isn't the NBA. It is almost impossible to repeat as champions.