Odds & Ends-Volume 195

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Our Saturday edition of Odds & Ends begins with the backlash that ESPN received during the network’s Fantasy Football Marathon. During the 28-hour broadcast across their family of channels, they had a segment where they held a live auction draft,which is a common style of drafting in the fantasy football world.espn-slave-auction

Players were auctioned off with their heads on a stick held up by a real-life auctioneer,which if you saw it on television,it looked as if the black players were being auctioned off as if they were slaves.

Many questioned the network doing something like this,especially days after a violent white nationalist attack in Charlottesville,Va. where three people died and many others were hurt. Others,like Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors (more on him later in this column), thought it was a boneheaded move by a network that is trying to regain viewers and change its image.

ESPN did apologize for what happened afterwards.

“Auction drafts are a common part of fantasy football, and ESPN’s segments replicated an auction draft with a diverse slate of top professional football players,” the network statement said, “Without that context, we understand the optics could be portrayed as offensive, and we apologize.”

I will say this,I don’t mind the network doing an auction-style segment on their network for their fantasy football marathon. I do think,however, that they could’ve gone a better way about it. They could’ve had a group of people at a table with fake Monopoly money and a list of players who they could bid on. Just the visuals of it made it look like a slave auction if you look at still frames of the segment. It kind of makes you wonder why nobody thought twice about the presentation. Yes,there were white players auctioned off,but that doesn’t make it any better.

I think we all agree that there was no intention from ESPN to make this fantasy football auction a “slave auction” by any means,but I think most of us can accept that they could’ve gone about this a different and better way,especially in a period of time where people are still hurting and trying to heal from a tragic event that happened just days before.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will soon be the new home of the NFC champions,the Atlanta Falcons. The newest NFL stadium is opening very soon and offers several new food options,and it has its own Chik-Fil-A,but there’s a problem,it’s closed on Sundays.
Really? On Sundays? During most Falcons games?

MBZStadiumKeep in mind that the chicken franchise is famous for being closed Sundays,but that’s when most Falcons games occur. In fact,seven of eight of them will be played on Sunday this year,the lone non-Sunday game is on Dec. 7 against New Orleans.

A source said the digital signage in the Chick-fil-A stand will be flipped when the stand is closed and it will be used by stadium the concessionaire to sell other non-branded food and beverage items.

I get that the Falcons aren’t the only tenant in the new stadium and that many events will be happening there,but to have a restaurant in there that doesn’t open when the main tenant has their events seems kind of pointless. Now,I’m not one to tell a business how they should run,but it seems like the folks at Chick-Fil-A are wasting their time. Atlanta is already a town that’s hard-pressed to support their local professional sports teams as it is, I hardly think their product is going to get people to attend more Atlanta United FC games. People will mainly go to the stadium for the Falcons and concerts that happen there. That’s about it.

Good news for Sacramento Kings, the best team to ever come from this era will be on the new edition of NBA 2K18.

Yes,the 2001-02 edition of the Kings will be featured on the game,which is expected to be 0102Kingsreleased next month,as a classic team you can use in the game. The 2001-02 Kings won 61 games that season and won their first division title since 1979,went to their first Western Conference Finals since 1981,and were one game short of the NBA Finals.

The team has been used in previous editions,but without Chris Webber,who was the best player on that team that season,but the new game will feature him due to his giving consent to use his likeness on the game,something that wasn’t given before.

I think it’s a great honor for a team that was one of the most talented teams in league history. I was beyond crushed when they didn’t get to the NBA Finals and the Lakers were given that chance to go instead. I think the Kings would’ve beaten the Nets in five games and a championship would’ve put this city on the sports map in ore ways than I can describe. Sure,this will never take the place of a real championship,but it’s a great way for a team that was really good and should’ve won a title or two their recognition as a great team.

Now one has to wonder if they’ll have the referees that screwed them out of a Finals appearance in the game as well.

DurantChampFinally this week, Kevin Durant has declared that if and when the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House to visit Donald Trump celebrating their second world championship in three years that he will not attend.

“Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”

Durant was asked to expand on his first statement,one he made at an event in his hometown of Seat Pleasant,Md.,which is 11 miles from Washington,D.C.

“I don’t agree with what he (Trump) agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” said Durant. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”

Just days after the Warriors won the NBA championship, it was rumoured that the team was skipping the presumed visit altogether,but coach Steve Kerr debunked it saying no formal decision was made by the team as of that time.

Skipping White House visits is nothing new. Tom Brady was not present at the most recent visits following the Patriots’ wins in both Super Bowl XLIX and Super Bowl LI,and several of his teammates also skipped the most recent visit,including then-teammates Martellus Bennett and Chris Long and current teammates Dont’ A Hightower and Devin McCourty. Tim Thomas skipped the Boston Bruins’ visit following their 2011 Stanley Cup victory because of his disagreements with then-President Obama.

I honestly don’t care if players go or not,even if it’s to visit this doofus of a President. Maybe they can see how awful he really is. No matter who is in office,when you’ve won a championship and get invited to the White House,that is a once in a lifetime opportunity for players to get to do that. Some players get to go more than once,others maybe just once,and some not at all. In any case,Durant’s decision to pass on going does speaks volumes in that he’s one of the best players not just on the Warriors,but in the entire world and if he’s passing on going,it’s going to be interesting who else passes on a visit in the future.

That’s about all I’ve got for this edition of Odds & Ends,we’ll catch you next time!

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