The Good: Pierre Desir
For those of us one the far southeast and southwest coasts, we watched at length the devastation that was brought on the center of our country. Feet of snow, below zero temperatures, and major power outages grew more and more prevalent each passing day this past week. Houston, one of the hardest places hit by below freezing temperatures and widespread power outages, saw some of the most horrendous affects of this cold front. During these times, many athletes from the Houston area donated food and money to help the less fortunate, but it was an athlete with a different connection to Houston that really caught my attention. Pierre Desir. Why is it so strange? Well he has no ties to Houston at all. Never lived there, never played there, probably knows a couple guys that played or lived there, but overall has not a single tie to the fourth largest city in the United States. Desir donated 100,000 meals and when asked about why he did it, he stated “it just seemed like the right thing to do.” We need more people like Pierre Desir in the world. The 7 year NFL veteran is in the market for a new team, and I believe a franchise should give him an opportunity if only to be a true leader in the locker room.
The Bad. Liverpool FC
Injuries have ravaged this team to a point where their center back room is almost unrecognizable from the last 2 seasons. Virgil Van Dyke and Joe Gomez have been on the shelf for extended periods of time, and they have not really found a pairing that has been successful since. But the defense woes have seemed to make their way to the offense as well. Liverpool have scored 4 goals in its past 6 matches with 2 of those coming in their Champions League tie. That means they have scored 2 goals in their last 5 Premier League games with their opponents scoring 10 goals in the same time frame. There will most certainly be some changes to a Jurgen Klopp team that conceded any chance at winning the league this year. The Reds might have to hope for all of their luck to shift to the Champions League because this team is in serious danger of missing the automatic qualifying spots.
The Ugly: Bradley Basketball
I’m not sure if I want to thank the Three Man Weave podcast for bringing this story to my attention, but it definitely deserves a spot on this list. Not a lot is known about this investigation due to the amount of time that has past, but four Bradley players have been suspended for “a violation of program standards”. The stories coming out of Peoria reported the Springfield arrest of four Bradley basketball players and alleged to have committed a sex offense that is not rape. One player has already been cleared of any charges and any student conduct repercussions, but this is a pretty sad story overall. I will be following up on this story when more facts are reported about it. I don’t wanna judge these guys for things that have just been alleged and not charged with yet, but I hope this is not true.
The Good Erling Braute Haaland.
There is no hotter soccer player in the world right now than the Norwegian wonderkid Erling Braute Haaland. 2 goals and an assist in the Champions against Sevilla and 2 more goals in the Revierderby against Schalke. He is the current leader in the Champions League with 8 goals and sits in third in goals in the Bundesliga with 17 goals in 17 games. In his 43 games with Dortmund he’s scored 43 goals. Oh yeah, the guy is only 20 years old. He couldn’t legally drink in the United States yet. The man is doing things at a rate not seen before at a top 5 league level from a player this young with the only exception being Kylian Mbappe. He is right up there to be one of the most expensive transfers in soccer history. Rumors have been running rampant about interest from clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City. It is going to cost and outrageous amount to pry him away from Dortmund, but BVB will be making a hefty profit. Dortmund might not be having the best season domestically, but the highlight of the squad continues to shine.
The Bad: Tennessee and Louisville Basketball
Two for one here, but the similarities are pretty stunning. That moment when we all thought Kentucky was so bad. Well, they have still had a lackluster season, but this team looked like the Kentucky of old with a dominant 70-55 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Kentucky had 4 players in double figures including Olivier Sarr, David Mintz, Keion Brooks, and Isaiah Jackson who led the team with 16 points. Tennessee got down early and just could not dig themselves out of the hole. Tennessee had a bad night and lost to a bad team. Louisville lost an average team, but the spread led to some shock and awe. Louisville only scored one less point than Tennessee, but the Cardinals gave up 99 points to a North Carolina team that averages only 74 points per game. UNC shot 60 percent from the field. 60 percent. That’s not something you from the Tarheels. Roy Williams loves defense and hates shooting threes. UNC scored 99 points and only made 8 threes. He must have been in heaven. Ok ok, but honestly, these are two very bad losses from two teams that are NCAA Tournament bound. Hopefully these are not signs of things to come.
The Ugly: ESPN Graphic Department
Boy oh boy the worldwide leader in sports made a massive mistake in the Twitter universe this past week. The ESPN account tweeted out a picture of the greatest athletes of all time. Just one major problem. They left off the most accomplished gymnast of all time in Simone Biles and the most accomplished female tennis player of all time in Serena Williams. You cannot claim to be the leader in sports and have that kind of mishap come out of the graphics department. So after a bountiful harvest of deserved flack they received on Twitter, ESPN twitter finally removed the image and issued an apology for not providing any women on their graphics of goats in the sporting world. In 2021, decisions like that are always going to come back and bite you in the butt. Gonna need to do better ESPN.
The Final Good: Derrick Lewis
On a UFC ESPN+ card that did not have a ton of luster on it, the card has some great fights and some phenomenal finishes. The ultimate finish though was in the main event between Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blades. During the second round, Blades went in for a take down and Lewis caught him with one of the most vicious uppercuts I have personally ever seen. Curtis Blades was immediately knocked unconscious and Lewis landed two more shots for good measure. This sets up an interesting power struggle at the top of the heavyweight division. John Jones is looking to take the companies most prestigious prize against Stipe Miocic with the winner facing Francis Ngannou. Lewis seems to fall into taking on the loser of Jones Miocic in a title eliminator fight. Curtis Blades cost himself a major opportunity, but you have to give it up to the punch that won Derrick Lewis the fight.