The Villain is back with his Pu-Pu Platter, some quick hits that serve as a mix of sports opinions and news. It's been a while but here are some random thoughts across sports that have come to my mind. There's a lot to unpack so let's get to it!
Ben Simmons vs Philadelphia 76ers
Photo Credit: NJ.com
The saga continues. Ben Simmons demanded a trade in the offseason after a dismal performance in the postseason. Both sides, the Sixers and Simmons, agree that a trade would be in the best interest of both sides. The 76ers have tried to treat them for what they feel his value is, but no team has been able to offer a package to the 76ers' liking. Now with camp about to begin soon, Ben Simmons has doubled down on his trade request and informed the team he has no plans of reporting to camp or playing another game for the 76ers.
While I understand his stance, I totally disagree with how he's going about this. Simmons comes off 100% selfish and a spoiled baby at this point. The chemistry issues with him and Joel Embiid are very documented, but Embiid has tried to reach out to Simmons to patch things up. Simmons never returned a call. Simmons holding out only benefits one person, Simmons. The best way for him to get out of town is to report to camp to show that he's improved this game after this terrible playoff season, and increase his trade value so that a team would actually want you on their team. Simmons is owed over $140 million for the next 4 years including $33 million this season.
If I were the Sixers I wouldn't pay him a dime. I would fine him every day he didn't show up to camp. Then I would take him to arbitration to recoup all of my money. The problem is the player empowerment is great when you are making moves to help others. Simmons is only helping himself, and the players that fought for Simmons to be able to make as much as he’s making should be pissed. Simmons is in no place of power at this point because of his poor play in the playoffs, stories of his unwillingness to improve his game and his selfish attitude. We could say what we want about James Harden, but at least he showed up to camp and played until he got the trade that he wanted. Until the trade happens, this is a soap opera that twists and turns everyday.
Will Andrew Wiggins be on the Warriors?
Photo Credit: USAToday.com
Andrew Wiggins said that he would not get a covered vaccine if he was forced to do so. He has yet to be vaccinated as the NBA season is about to start. Now this vaccination issue can affect his availability for the Golden State Warriors. Currently there are only two cities that are mandating vaccination for indoor events, San Francisco and New York. These requirements affect the Golden State Warriors, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.
The NBA has mandated that all employees be vaccinated to work. But because of collective bargaining and a union, the NBA players are exempt from that rule. Andrew Wiggins is a nice player averaging over 18 points for the Golden State Warriors last season, but the 26-year-old is not vaccinated, and puts his availability and his usability at risk for this upcoming season. He’s putting himself and others in danger by not being vaccinated at this point.
I would believe it's in the best interest of the Warriors to move on from Wiggins and train them to a team where there is no City mandate that he needs to be vaccinated. Because as it stands right now, Wiggins can only play on the road. He wouldn't be allowed to play 41 of the 82 Game season because the home games are in San Francisco. How can you rely on Wiggins to be a halftime player and risk being a super spreader in their own locker room?
Is Eli Manning a Hall Of Famer?
Photo Credit: ESPN.com
This Sunday, Eli Manning will be the 13th New York Giant player to have his number retired and have his number 10 Jersey inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor. Eli Manning has been retired for 2 years, but still has a legacy as the greatest Giants quarterback of all time. But is that enough to get him into the Hall of fame?
Eli Manning played 16 years for the New York Giants and in his first eight seasons Eli Manning had a record of 69 and 50 with two Super Bowl wins. If he had continued on that trajectory, he would be a first ballot Hall of famer. But his last 8 years in the league saw a 48 and 67 record, one playoff appearance ( a loss to the Green Bay Packers), and two unceremonious benchings. Manning was an All-Pro four times and made the All-Pro team once. When Manning retired he was in the top 10 for passing yards touchdowns and pass attempts. Looking at his breakdown of stats Manning has a career completion percentage over 60% The League average is 61%. Manning average 11.6 yards per completion, the NFL average is 11.5 Manning average 241.6 passing yards per game the average is 239.4. Manning's touchdown rate was 4.49% while the NFL average is 4.30%.
My humble, and biased, option is that Elli Manning is a Hall of Famer. Albeit very borderline, but his passing numbers in a predominantly passing era are just good enough. However, two Super Bowl wins with two Super Bowl MVPs have to put him over the edge and get him into the Hall of Fame. Insert your argument against me below.
Will the Yankees make the playoffs?
Photo Credit: GettyImages
The Yankees push for playoff berth has been going on for the last month, but now the pressure is on. The Yankees open a crucial three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. Currently the Yankees are two games behind the Red Sox for the top wild card spot. The top wildcard spot earns that team the home field advantage in the play-in game.
According to fangraphs, the Yankees have a 41.2% chance to make the playoffs and the Toronto Blue Jays have a 55.9% chance. The Yankees, if the season ended today, would face the Red Sox in the one game playoff. The Toronto Blue Jays are one full game behind the Yankees and would be on the outside looking in. The Yankees are 6-10 against the Red Sox this year including 1-6 at Fenway Park. To say this is a big series is an understatement the Yankees must win this series to keep up in the wild card. A sweep would give them the home field advantage.
The Yankees are starting to get healthy as Jameson Talion, Domingo German and Luis Severino are return from injuries. Severino is the big return as he hasn't pitched in almost 2 years came in and relief and pitched two scoreless innings against the rangers. The hitting has been inconsistent, but Aaron judge has had one of his best seasons. But the key to the Yankees is the pitching. If they can get consistent starting pitching and bullpen help they should make it into the playoffs. Quietly Aroldis Chapman has performed much better in his last 20+ outings and now reinforcements are coming. And it's just in time for the stretch run.
Running Back by committee in Dallas?
Photo Credit: BleacherReport.com
If you haven't been noticing, Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard has been balling. In the Cowboys Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Tony Pollard tallied 13 rushes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Running back Ezekiel Elliott tallied 16 rushes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Elliot is the feature back, however Pollard has been more effective in the first two games. Owner Jerry Jones has come out on the radio and said Pollard is a "great asset" to the football team.
As a Cowboy hater, it's easy for me to stir the pot and create a running back controversy between these two running backs. Pollard is a great change of pace back, has shown more burst hitting the holes and making plays in the passing game. However Ezekiel Elliott is the star running back, especially after Jones signed Elliot to a 6-year / $90 million contract extension last year. Elliott struggled last year, as he didn't crack 1,000 yards for the first time in season and averaged just jut over 4 yards per carry (his career average is 5+ yards). Not having Dak Prescott for the majority of the season was a big factor, and injuries along the offensive line played a role. Couple last year's performance with this year's eye test watching Pollard carry the ball, it's easy to say why did you pay Elliot all that money.
But having two running backs is better than having no running backs. Having Pollard in the fold will make Elliott a better running back in my opinion. Elliott doesn't have to shoulder the full load for a full season, he's fresher down the stretch, and having a change of pace weapon like Pollard only makes this offense even more dynamic. All sides should embrace this potential dual threat and the league will be on notice.