By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the Man Cave trying to convince my schnoodle, Paige, that she can’t play ball in the snow. And the Cleveland Browns can’t play in 80 degrees.
—BROWN OUT: If you watched, you saw that the Cleveland Browns showed up in Miami for no apparent reason. They would have better spent their time bonefishing in Biscayne Bay. They lost 39-17 and it was not that close.
The Dolphins, not known for a rushing game, gobbled up yards against Cleveland’s paper mache defense like Sherman’s scorched earth march to the sea, 253 yards rushing. On the flip side, the Dolphins’ defense walled up Cleveland’s ground game, other than one long run by Nick Chubb, a 43-yard touchdown. Other than that, he carried 10 times for 20 yards.
Passing? Miami’s lefty quarterback, Tia Tagovailoa, played catch with eight different receivers. . .everybody on Miami’s offense touched the ball but the punter. He never had to punt. T.T. was 25 for 32 for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
The Browns are looking forward to the debut of quarterback DeShawn Watson. Why? Won’t make any difference. Quarterbacking is the least of their problems. And next week they’ll be shuffling out of Buffalo lugging another defeat.
—QUOTE: From Kansas City all-world tight end Travis Kelce after facing Buffalo all-world linebacker Von Miller: “I felt like a rag doll. He threw me into next week.” (And Miami knocked the Browns into next year.)
—SIGN ‘EM UP: The Cincinnati Reds made their first free agent signing over the weekend and cover your mouths when you yawn.
They signed right-handed pitcher Kevin Herget to a minor league contract. He was a 39th-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 and spent 10 seasons in the minors.
His one glimpse of big league action came last season with Tampa Bay — three bullpen appearances during which he pitched seven innings and gave up six runs.
Well, he does seem to fit right into the Reds bullpen.
—GREAT SCOTT: One thing you can say for certain, Wright State coach Scott Nagy isn’t afraid to play anybody, anywhere, any time.
The Raiders opened at home against Davidson and lost in double overtime, 102-97, after leading by 21 in the first half. Then they zipped down I-71 to play Louisville and hung a 73-72 stinger on the Cardinals on a last-second shot by Trey Calvin, WSU’s fast-
developing super nova.
Nagy does it every season, which affects the Raiders in a positive way before they embark on the rigors of the Horizon League schedule.
—NOSE JOB: Before last Friday night’s UD-SMU basketball game, I was wandering the halls of the Donoher Center on my way to visit good friend and equipment manager Tony Caruso.
On my way, I encountered a glass door and somehow walked face first into it, opening a gash on my nose. It was bleeding profusely and I turned and walked back the way I’d come, bloody hand on my nose.
Fortunately I encountered two gentlemen walking toward me and one said, “Hal, what happened to you?”
“Lost a skirmish with a glass door,” I said.
That’s when Nate Seymour, manager of sports medicine for UD, and Mike Mulcahey, on the medical staff for men’s basketball, escorted me into the athletic training room. Seymour stopped the bleeding and applied a bandage. And during the game, Mulcahey came across the the floor to inquire about my health and well-being.
Neither man had to take their time to come to the aid of a broken down sports writer, but those guys are typical of the class people throughout the UD athletic program.
—BAKED OR FRIED?: It appears quarterback Baker Mayfield’s once budding career has been nipped in the bud and he has reached the bottom of the pit.
He lost his starting job with the Carolina Panthers, who would like to trade him but find no takers. A release is possible.
One of Mayfield’s problems in Cleveland was that he appeared in more TV commercials than he appeared in winning games for the Browns.
—QUOTE: From quarterback Baker Mayfield: “It doesn’t matter what cards you’re dealt. It’s what you do with those cards.” (Unfortunately, Mayfield has been dealt nothing but aces and eights, the cards Wild Bill Hickok held when he was shot while playing poker in Deadwood, S.D.)
—ISN’T IT ODD(S)?: It is mystifying and mystical how close Las Vegas oddsmakers come on games. How do they do it?
For example, Dayton was an 11 1/2-point favorite over SMU and won by 12 (74-62). Ohio State was a 40-point pick over Indiana (I’d never give anybody 40 points) and the Buckeyes won by 42 (56-14). Eastern Michigan was favored by 6 1/2 over Akron and won bv six (34-28).
SMU’s football team was a 17 1/2-point selection over South Florida and won by 18 (41-23). By the way, SMU’s football team scored 77 points in a game last week and I said the SMU basketball team wouldn’t score that many against Dayton. It didn’t. The Mustangs scored 62.
—QUOTE: From Albert Einstein, who doesn’t look like a gambler: “ You can’t win at a roulette table. . .unless you steal from it.” (The first time I played roulette, I won $700. The next five times I lost my shirt, pants, socks and shoes. Haven’t played it since.)
—COUNT ‘EM: There was a nifty trivia question on GameDay Saturday. As we all know, or as Texans tell us, “Everything is big in Texas.”
Well as it turns out, Texas is the state with the most FBS football schools. Can you name them? There are 12. I named nine.
They are: Texas, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas-El Paso, University of Texas-San Antonio, Houston, Rice, Baylor, North Texas, and Southern Methodist.
—SOME RESPECT: Because I love Las Vegas and I love Rodney “No Respect” Dangerfield, I’ll give him some respect for this funny joke he told.
“Y’know, in Las Vegas they have slot machines everywhere. They even have them in grocery stores. I went into one to buy a quart of milk and it cost me $249.”