Injury list grind, MLS headline? UFC doesn’t mind & OBJ needs kick in behind

By Mike Ashley



I COLON AS I SEE THEM: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Za’Darius Smith is day-to-day with a dislocated apostrophe.

NOT MY FAULT: Matias Almeyda was named the San Jose Earthquakes’ new coach this week, but it didn’t really move the needle.

I’LL BE BRIEF: Sportswriter Norman Chad has suggested we’re reaching a point where quarterbacks won’t be tackled at all, just served with papers.

I MUST BREAK YOU: Was Khabib Nurmagomedov’s and Conor McGregor’s post-fight melee good for MMA? Well, here we are all talking about it. In a related note, UFC President Dana White said, ‘Yeah, that’s right my name is Dana, wanna make something of it?’

OPEN MOUTH. INSERT CLEAT: Odell Beckham, Jr., wants the New York Giants’ offense wide open, apparently beginning with his mouth.

TIMEOUT TRIVIA: Name the all-time leader in victories for a college football coach.

CAUSE OF DEATH -- CRAIG KIMBREL: Baseball sage Thomas Boswell opined that there should be studies ‘to find out how many years it takes off the life of the average Red Sox or Yankees fan to play in a post-season series against each other. Probably worse than smoking three packs a day for life.’

MOM! THE MEATLOAF! When the generation that grew up playing Madden NFL and all the other football video games become head coaches, everyone will just go for it on fourth down all the time. I’m more from the electric football, please-just-go-in the-right-direction generation.


YOUR WEEKEND PLANS: No. 15 Wisconsin needs a win at No. 12 Michigan to Badger its way into the playoff discussion. No. 2 Georgia hosts No. 13 LSU in an SEC matchup we don’t see often enough. No. 6 West Virginia is on upset alert at Iowa State. Ditto No. 7 Washington at 17 Oregon. 

 FAVORITE ONION HEADLINE: ‘Jimmy Butler Gives Wolves List of 29 Preferred Trade Destination.’

 IMPORTANT BUT NOT FUNNY: Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics, on the future of legalized sports betting -- ‘I think it will be a game of skill, just like you can be a day trader – you can be at Goldman Sachs, making billion-dollar bets on companies.’

TRIVIA ANSWER: John Gagliardi, who passed away this week at age 91, won 489 games, mostly in his 60 years coaching at St. John’s University in Minnesota. He won four national titles at the all-male, Division III school, but drew more attention with his style. He never cut players and believed in non-strenuous practices that never went over an hour-and-a-half.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon YearbooksAthlonLindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.

William Rothpast