By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, asking whomever has been praying for snow to cease and desist. . .please.
—Now that the Stupor-Sleeper Bowl is over, just who is the NFL’s GOAT quarterback? Everybody, of course, is anointing Tom Brady and his seven Super Bowl rings.
And he was this year’s MVP, even though they should have cut up the trophy and distributed it to the Tampa Bau defense, which held Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to no touchdowns.
In Super Bowl XXXVI, Brady’s New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 20-17. Brady threw for only 145 yards and one TD. And won the MVP.
In 2019, a 13-3 Patriots win over the Rams, Brady threw for no touchdowns, had an interception and a fumble. It was another year the defense was MVP, but Julian Edelman, who caught no TD passes, was MVP.
And don’t forget, Brady was the losing quarterback in three Super Bowls.
So who is the GOAT? My good friend and journalist Rob Parker, who did all the research, agrees with me: Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers.
Montana was 4-and-0 in Super Bowls, threw for 11 touchdowns and not a single interception. He was MVP three times. He threw 122 passes with no picks and still owns the highest passer rating in a Super Bow, 127.8.
Just our opinions and we’re sticking to them.
There are probably no arguments from the Cincinnati Bengals. Montana beat them twice in their only trips to the Super Bowl.
In 1989, the Bengals led, 16-13, with 3:20 left and had the 49ers pinned on the 8-yard-line. Montana completed 8 of 9 passes and drove his team 92 yards. He threw the game-winning touchdown to John Taylor with 34 seconds left.
Oh, the painful memories.
—QUOTE: From 49ers quarterback Joe ‘Cool’ Montana: “As a quarterback, there’s no better way to finish your year, in winning a Super Bowl, than with a touchdown pass. The chances of that happening, by the looks of most of the Super Bowls, is a very rare chance. Fortunately for me, I had an opportunity.” (And he did it.)
—Something called Pecota Projections, conducted by Baseball Prospectus, is putting a damper on the 2021 season for Cincinnati Reds followers even before they unpacked the equipment truck in Goodyear, Ariz.
It projects the Reds to finish fourth in the National League Central at 79-83, 18 games ahead of the 61-101 Pittsburgh Pirates.
It says Milwaukee will win the division at 89-73, ahead of Chicago (85-77) and St. Louis (81-81)
Hey, with all the computer-driven analytics teams use these days why not just play the season via computer and save wear-and-tear on pitching arms?
—Trivia time from good friend Mark Schlemmer: “Who is the only player to pinch-hit for both Pete Rose and Johnny Bench?”
It was career pinch-hitter Chico Ruiz. When he played for the Reds, manager Fred Hutchinson gave him a few starting assignments and he struggled. So he told Hutch, “Bench me or trade me.”
—Another one. . .my own trivia question. The first World Series was in 1903. Who hit the first World Series grand slam for a National League team and when?
It didn’t happen until 1962 and it was hit by Chuck Hiller of the San Francisco Giants in 1962. During the season, Hiller made 680 plate appearances and hit three home runs.
—What’s with Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks? Giving no reasons, he decreed that the National Anthem would not be played before Mavs home games.
The NBA stepped in and said, “Play it.” Cuban shrugged his shoulders and said, “OK.”
Not playing it might not be a bad idea when one sees how many players bow their heads or chat with a teammate. Recently I saw a player checking his cellphone during The Star Spangled Banner.
—On a similar note, Bluefield College, a NAIA school in Virginia, forfeited a game after college president David Olive suspended multiple players.
Several team members were taking a knee during the National Anthem before games. Olive ordered them to cease. When they didn’t he suspended them and Bluefield did not have enough players for its next game.
Reaction: Good on him.
—Some folks are bent in half over a recent comment by college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. Said Bilas, “Wright State has kept Dayton on the basketball map this year.”
It’s the truth. Wright State is having a sensational year while the University of Dayton is rebuilding and reloading.
How soon we forget that Bilas gushed all over the Flyers last year, which was warranted. And what he said this year is warranted.
—Santa Anita suspended jockeys Umberto Rispoli and Juan Hernandez three days each for illegal use of the whip.
At Santa Anita, jockeys may not hit a horse with the whip more than six times during a race and no more than twice at one time.
Here’s an idea. . .outlaw the whip entirely. Or take the offenders behind the barn, have them drop their tidy little white riding pants and use the whip on them.
—Fun sporting things I have done: Batted (without success) against Dean Chance (He pitched a major-league no-hitter), rode around Charlotte Motor Speedway with Rusty Wallace, took a set from Beth Herr a week before she played Martina Navratilova in a pro tennis tournament, played 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club, played two high schools games (without success) against future NBA stars Gus Johnson and Nate Thurmond.