Super Bowl Countdown: T-5 days
Fun Fact of the Day: Peyton Manning is the first quarterback to go to multiple Super Bowls with multiple teams—the Denver Broncos (2016, 2014) and Indianapolis Colts (2007, 2010).
When you fly too close to the sun, you get burned. Yesterday, the Phoenix Suns fired their head coach Jeff Hornacek. Why? There’s no gentle way to put this: the Suns are really bad and they are getting worse. They have lost 19 of their past 21 games, including 2 losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the worst record in the league. What happened? There were high hopes for the Suns at the beginning of this season, but the team has been through a series of injuries and just cannot pull it together. Who’s replacing Hornacek? For now it will be interim head coach Earl Watson, though Suns reportedly tried to get former player and 2-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (also of Nelly Furtado, “Promiscuous” fame), but he wasn’t super interested in a full-time gig.
Wait, but where’s Duke? Yesterday, the new weekly college basketball rankings came out and Duke was ranked outside the Top 25 for the first time in 8 years. It wasn’t exactly a shocker because Duke has lost 4 out of its past 5 games and is having its worst season in 20 years. What happened to them? Even though the team has superstar small forward Brandon Ingram who is a monster on offense, they lost their center Amile Jefferson to a broken foot. Now, Duke’s defense is basically nonexistent and teams are just cruising by them, kind of like Coach K in the handshake line.
Spotlight on Calvin Johnson
Rumor has it that Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson will retire this year at the age of 30, after 9 seasons in the NFL.
What’s he known for? Besides a sweet nickname, Johnson has been with the Lions since he was drafted. He has the record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 in 2012 and was one of the most dominant wide receivers in the game. While this past season wasn’t his best, he’s definitely still in his prime.
Then why is he retiring? Some will blame the Lions for being terrible and not giving him enough of a showcase for his skills, but more likely it’s a bunch of nagging ankle, knee, and finger injuries.
Or maybe it’s something in the Detroit water? You’ll hear folks compare Johnson to another Lions legend running back Barry Sanders, who also retired in his prime in the late 1990s.
Seen and Heard
Harbaugh Party Planning Services? Michigan’s head coach Jim Harbaugh has been going to great lengths to get next year’s football talent, including having sleepovers and climbing trees with high school prospects. Yes, it is a little creepy. In celebration of the incoming class, he is holding a special Signing Day Celebration for the new recruits. It will feature a number of celebrity appearances, including former Michigan QB Tom Brady and Michigan native Derek Jeter. Who’s not invited? 4 prospects who recently decommitted, because Michigan said it could no longer guarantee them spots on the team. It’s OK, recruits, we all know what’s like to share one beautiful night together and never get a call back… err, we mean... j/k...
You can’t spell Panthers without pants. Yesterday, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton arrived in California for the Super Bowl's media night wearing some serious pants. I know you’re thinking, “where can I get some of those?” Unfortunately, the zebra striped Versace pantaloons cost $849 and sold out almost immediately. Better luck next time.