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Odds & Ends-Volume 163


We begin this week’s Odds & Ends with the passing of longtime TNT sideline analyst Craig Sager. Sager died on Thursday at the sagerage of 65 following a long fight with leukemia which required three bone marrow transplants.

Sager had been with Turner Sports since 1987 and while he did cover many sports,he was most known for his work with the NBA on TNT as well as the colorful outfits he wore on the air (and not the same outfit more than once) and his candid interviews with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

“To talk about [Sager] being a professional or good at what he did is a tremendous understatement. …[B]ut he was a way better person than he was a worker, even though he was amazing in that regard. He loved people, he enjoyed pregame, during games, postgame — he loved all the people around it, and everybody felt that… What he’s endured, and the fight that he’s put up, the courage that he’s displayed during this situation is beyond my comprehension. And if any of us can display half the courage he has to stay on this planet, to live every [day] as if it’s his last, we’d be well off.”

Sager was in the spotlight quite a lot in his final year. Over the summer he was honored at the ESPYs and was given the Jimmy V Award for perseverance for the courage and the strength he showed in his fight with leukemia. He also worked his first ever NBA Finals game when Turner loaned him to ESPN to work in the sport’s final round of the postseason.

So many people in the league as well around the sports world payed tribute to Sager. In Oakland, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr called for applause in a moment of joy for Sager.

I,for one,will miss Sager. He was a great presence on TNT and was a sharp and well-respected interviewer. He loved life and lived every day as if it was the greatest gift. I watched his ESPY speech on Thursday night and something he said struck a chord with me.

““If I’ve learned anything through all of this, it’s that each and every day is a canvas, waiting to be painted — an opportunity for love, for fun, for living, for learning,” Sager said.

He credited his parents for raising him “with a positive outlook on life.”

“Thanks to them,” he said, “I always see the glass half full. I see the beauty in others, and I see the hope for tomorrow. If we don’t have hope and faith, we have nothing.”

Not to try to emulate the man entirely,but I think for me,my aim has been off a bit. I always see something I’m always unhappy with and I always get impatient and sometimes don’t value what’s in front of me in the present. I’m going to have a more positive outlook on life and I’m going to hold out hope for tomorrow and always hope for the best. I think that’s been lost on us a great deal,especially in the times of uncertainty that we’ve found ourselves to be in. I think in a sense,we as a society have stopped seeing the beauty in others and have found even the littlest thing to not like someone over. I think that if we take time to appreciate the people we have around us and be kind to the strangers we encounter daily we’re going to be much better off and I think that’s the best way to honor a guy like Sager who lived every day with a positive outlook right until the very end.

The Sacramento Kings have found themselves to be at odds with the local media and two incidents happened this past week. First with the confrontation in the Kings’ locker between center DeMarcus Cousins and Sacramento Bee columnist Andy Furillo.

The incident happened Monday and was caught on video. Cousins was visibly upset over an article Furillo had written regarding the incident in a New York City nightclub that involved Cousins and teammate Matt Barnes. The column also mentioned Cousins’ brother,Jaleel, which the elder Cousins didn’t appreciate and he let Furillo know about his frustration by shouting at him in the locker room.

“We’re going to have some real fucking issues. Don’t ever mention my brother again,” Cousins shouted before being restrained by teammate Garrett Temple and Kings spokesman Chris Clark

The outrage didn’t stop there. Coach Dave Joerger was not happy with the Bee‘s column and decision to post the linked video above of djoergerCousins’ tirade,calling it “ridiculous”.

“This guy is the face of our franchise,” Joerger said. “He’s done and said some things that he wishes he could do over. He’s improved; he’s gotten better. But to go and use other reporters, third person, oh he bullies his coaches or he bullies, that is (trash). And to put it out there like that, that is ridiculous.”

Joerger added, “I’m not justifying anything he’s done. What he did is excessive, we’ve talked about it.”

I think that while Furillo could’ve omitted bringing Cousins’ brother into it, I do think that the player’s behavior is adding fuel to an already burning fire that is and has been burning for some time now. I don’t know what his fate is going to be at this time with this team,but I do have a prediction about that coming very soon. Stay tuned.

jamesharrisonIs it just me or does the league have it out for James Harrison just a little bit?

Harrison received his third random drug test in the past month from the NFL on Friday and he it was the second randon drug test in a week for the 38-year-old linebacker.

Curt Popejoy of the Steelers Wire on USA Today opined that commissioner Roger Goodell may have “an obsession with Harrison’s urine” and added “Like if you go into his office you might pull a certain book off a shelf and it will open up a secret panel and there’s a shelf with all of Harrison’s samples in there and he’s staring at them longingly, wringing his hands.”

I get that Harrison has been far from one of Goodell’s favorite people in the league,but this is not only a vendetta against him,it’s also harassment. I understand that players get drug tested randomly throughout the season,but I doubt that they get tested in the frequency as Harrison has seen and it’s far from okay.

The Oakland Raiders have done something they had not yet done in the social media age; they clinched a playoff berth.Oakland_Raiders

They did so by beating the San Diego Chargers on the road 19-16 and had some help from the Tennessee Titans as that team beat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive.

A lot of ecstatic Raiders fans have posted their excitement on various social media outlets and a lot of fans of other teams are getting sick of it and honestly,it isn’t okay.

Why? Because for over a decade those same fans have had to see other fans celebrate going to the playoffs and have had next to nothing to cheer for in that time. That franchise has gone through a ton of shit in that time. From signing Randy Moss and him not being productive with the team to the bust draft pick that was JaMarcus Russell to coach after coach after coach after coach getting fired to Al Davis passing away to even the team’s possible relocation still looming, it’s been a bad decade and a half and honestly,for the first time in forever,they deserve to have something to cheer for and be happy about.

The rest of you fans have had plenty of cake over the years,let Raiders fans have theirs.

That’s all I have for Odds & Ends this week! Have a magical holiday and we’ll see you for a brand-new edition of Odds & Ends one last time for 2016 next week!


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December 2016
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