By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, warm and toasty on a crisp winter’s night due to a nice new heater donated to me by my great friend Jeff Gordon (No, not the former NASCAR driver, but this Jeff Gordon can make left turns, too.)
—FROG STRANGLING: Fortunately, I did not throw away 3 1/2 hours of my time that I will never get back by watching the CFP. While I watched the Michigan National Guard wipe out a prison population on ‘Mayor of Kingstown,’ Georgia was making a mockery of the college football championship.
When I checked my iPhone for the first time, I saw Georgia 65, TCU 7. 65-7? In a national title game? I laughed. I laughed out loud. I figured the game was a mismatch, but I did not expect it to be sharp scissors versus wet tissue paper.
I didn’t watch because the real national championship game was played last week. . .Georgia 42, Ohio State 41. On that day, the Bulldogs picked on somebody their own size. When they kissed the Horned Frogs, they didn’t turn into princes. They turned into Toads.
—SEND IN THE CLOWNS: Just because your name is Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t mean you have to act like a clown.
But that’s what Clowney did last Thursday when he ripped the Cleveland Browns organization and coaching staff for not appreciating him and giving preferential treatment to fellow defensive end Myles Garrett.
The 29-year-old Clowney complained in an interview with cleveland.com that he was put in difficult matchups by the coaches so Garrett could dominate. He said they were trying to put Garrett into the Hall of Fame while giving him the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. . .no respect.
The Browns sent Clowney home from Friday’s practice and he was not with the team in Pittsburgh. And good for the Browns. Clowney was putting personal feelings in front of team effort.
Clowney most likely will no longer wear orange and brown. If he signs with another team, perhaps he should first rummage through Bozo the Clown’s closet for a pair of shoes.
—STILL DEFENSELESS: More evidence that defense in the NBA is found only in the dictionary.
^The Charlotte Hornets scored 51 points in the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks, tying an NBA record. And they scored 84 in the first half. Is the rumor true that the Bucks didn’t show up until the start of the second half? Well, their defense never showed up.
^Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls made 11 3-pointers on 13 attempts against the 76ers. Did the league tell the 76ers they couldn’t cross the 3-point line on defense?
Something always perplexed me. Both the NFL and the colleges play 60-minute football games. Both the MLB and the colleges play nine-inning baseball games. Both the NHL and colleges play 60-minute hockey games. Both the PGA and the colleges play 18 holes of golf. Both the PBA and the colleges bowl 10 frames.
So why does the NBA play 48 minutes and the colleges play 40 minutes in basketball? Asking for myself.
—BYE-BYE BAUER: The Los Angeles Dodgers ushered pitcher Trevor Bauer out the door with a $22.5 million check in his back pocket.
They released him after he served a long suspension for domestic violence and sexual misconduct and is now eligible to pitch again.
He is a free agent and any team can sign him for the $720,000 major league minimum, with the Dodgers on the hook for the rest.
A few believe the Cincinnati Reds could use him after he won the Cy Young for them in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
No, no, no, no. While the guy can pitch, he brings with him more distractions than attractions, more baggage than in the hold of a 747. He never gets thrown under a bus. He throws himself under a bus. And the Reds should let that bus roll on by.
—THE STEEL CURTAIN: If the Cleveland Browns are ever going to be factors in the AFC North, and that’s a monumental if, they have to find a way to quit being punching bags in Pittsburgh.
When they lost Sunday, 28-14, it was their 18th straight regular season loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They last won there in 2003, 33-13. Tim Couch was the Cleveland quarterback, William Green was the runningback and Phil Dawson was the kicker.
The loss Sunday was a microcosm of this season — blown pass coverages, failure to stop the Steelers on third-and-long and quarterback Deshaun Watson taking more sacks than one finds in the Kroger potato section.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods was The Fall Guy. He was fired after Sunday’s loss.
The biggest mystery? How do the Browns keep beating the much-better Cincinnati Bengals?
—OH, BERNIE: Speaking of the Browns and quarterbacks, what was Bernie Kosar thinking? Well, he wasn’t.
Kosar, the most popular former Browns player over the last 50 years, was fired this week as the team’s pre-game radio analyst. Why? He violated an NFL rule.
When sports betting was legalized in Ohio, he placed a $19,000 bet (he wore jersey number 19) on the Browns to beat the Steelers. Betting on NFL games while employed by an NFL team is a big ol’ no-no. . .even if it is legal for the masses.
He should have been fired for being dumb enough to bet on the Browns.
YA GOTTA LOVE LOVIE: Some huge applause for Lovie Smith and his integrity. If the Houston Texans lost Sunday, they would have the No. 1 pick in the draft. What did Smith do? He went for two late in the game and beat Indianapolis, 32-31.
And his reward? He was fired after the game, the second straight year the Texans fired their coach after one season.
Wonder if they would have kept him had the Texans lost?
—A GIANT ON ICE: Can you imagine a 7-foot-4, 290-pound kid on ice skates playing hockey? He must have looked like the Empire State Building moving on blades to the other players.
That’s where Purdue’s Zach Edey was discovered, a Goliath on ice in Toronto. They took away his stick and put a basketball in his hands.
I watched him Sunday playing Penn State in the historic Palestra. They said he never touched a basketball until four years ago, but he can certainly touch the rim. . .and maybe the top of the backboard.
He scored 30 points with the greatest of ease for the 15-1 Boilermakers as Penn State tried using a 6-foot-4 defender on him. Edey shot over him like Wilt Chamberlain shooting over Tiny Archibald.
—CASEY AT BAT AGAIN: A while back, former Reds first baseman Sean Casey, The Mayor, was a night speaker at the Dayton Agonis Club and knocked it into the upper deck.
Casey makes a return engagement in Dayton on February 3 when he is the keynote speaker at ‘The First Pitch,’ a yearly dinner put on at the Nutter Center by the Wright State University baseball team.
^And on January 28, San Diego Padres pitcher and University of Dayton product Craig Stammen and I will share the podium at Wilmington College’s First Pitch Cook-off at the Clinton County Fairgrounds.
Tickets are $75 and information can be obtained by e-mailing coach Tony Vittorio at email@example.com.