Odds & Ends-Volume 230

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ab84We begin the first Odds & Ends of 2019 with the news that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wants out and is requesting a trade.

Brown was benched for the team’s final game against the Bengals for skipping practics and meetings and having disagreements with a teammate. The final game that the team won but needed help from the Browns to get into the postseason. They didn’t.

Following the team’s season,the 30-year-old Brown has requested a trade. The Steelers owe him more than $44 million over the next two years. The team can move him,but it may be difficult for a team to take on the rest of the deal and what the team might want in return for him.

Having said all that, it’s apparent that he’s burning a lot of bridges with this team and it’s hard for me to see him returning for next season in Pittsburgh. It’s clear he wants out and if the team finds the right suitor for him that takes on his heavy deal and can give back draft picks and even cash considerations,you can bet that Brown and the team will go heir separate ways.

After an underwhelming 9-6-1 season where a lot of drama occurred combined with MikeTomlin.jpgtheir star tailback holding out the whole season, their star wide receiver wanting out,and key losses to teams down the stretch that crippled their playoff hopes overall,not to mention fans wanting coach Mike Tomlin fired, it seems like the team’s foundation is bursting and that it may get worse in the Steel City before it gets any better.

Sure, they still have Ben Roethlisberger,but he’ll be 37 when next season starts and he has flirted with the idea of retirement before. They do have a young rising star in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Connor filled Le’ Veon Bell’s role very admirably,but has Tomlin lost the locker room?

My feeling is that he indeed has and like Mike McCarthy in Green Bay,it may be time for a new voice in the locker room. However,the Rooney family is not one to fire a coach just like that. Remember,this team has had three head coaches in 50 years and are and have been a model of consistency and efficiency. If it was any other franchise I think you would see a change at the coaching spot,but like I said this is the Steelers we’re talking about.

Is it still a possibility that he goes? It is,but with Tomlin having been safe so far I’m sure the team is evaluating whether or not he returns for his 13th season. I say he will be retained.

cottonbowlThe NHL has announced that the 2020 Winter Classic will move away from the Northeast and Midwest and make its way to the Southwest. The Jan. 1 game will be played in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl and the Stars will host the game against a to-be-determined opponent. The opponent will be chosen by the Stars, the league and NBC, which televises the game. The odds-on favorite to be the Stars’ guest is the Minnesota Wild.

“One, you have to recognize NBC’s wishes,” Stars president Brad Alberts said. “You want a major TV market. Two, a highly competitive team with some superstar power. That’s what we’re looking at. So no, it’s not necessarily a division rival. At this point, I don’t know who it’s going to be. We could play the winner of the Stanley Cup. We could play somebody from a major Northeast market. We could play someone in the division. I don’t know. Like I said, we’re going around and around.”

The Stars will be the ninth NHL team to host the event. The Cotton Bowl’s capacity is over 92,000,but may be larger for this particular event.

I’m honestly happy to be seeing this event make its way to different markets other than the Midwest and the Northeast. We’ve seen this played in Boston, New York,Philadelphia,Pittsburgh,and Washington before and while the event is by no-means a stale one,I have always felt that the event should make its way to non-traditional cities and with the game coming to Dallas next New Year’s Day,I think it’s going to be a great event. I think the Wild would be a great opponent,too,given the Stars’ ties to Minnesota and the rivalry the two teams have.

Finally this week in “We Tried This in the 1990s and it Failed Miserably” news, FOX is bringing back it’s glowing puck for one game during tonight’s Oilers-Kings game. It’s being used as part of the Kings’ throwback night that they’re hosting.GlowingPuck.jpg

“We won’t be able to give the speed of the shot,” Fox producer Steven Dorfman said. “But we can simulate the glow of the puck, and we can simulate the tracking of the puck. Not live, but we will show some plays in the first and second intermissions, and maybe a couple of clips in-game and postgame on what it would look like if that technology still existed.”

Glow Puck, which turned out to be a passing fad,was first introduced when FOX started broadcasting NHL games in 1995 and was used until the end of the 1997-98 season.
Look,I know it’s only one game and it’s for a throwback night,but honestly there’s no reason for this to ever exist again outside of this game. This wasn’t a good idea back then because purist fans felt that a puck shouldn’t be that hard to see when watching the game on television. It’s a black puck on white ice for Heaven’s sake. I know a lot of things are coming back from the 1990s,but one of the worst innovations in sports should stay there. This isn’t good!

That’s all for Odds & Ends this week,we’ll catch you next time!

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