The One Where We Feel Free

Fun Fact of the Day:  Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson finished last season with 1,214 receiving yards, the most ever in a player’s final season in the NFL.


Today's Rundown

NFL

Another great player peaces out.  Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson confirmed that he’s retiring.  It’s a big deal because he’s only 30 years old and while last season wasn’t his best, he’s still in his (optimus?!) prime.  What’s he known for?  A unique combination of size and speed, including having the record for most receiving yards in a single season (1,964). Then why is he retiring?  Some will blame the Lions for being terrible and not giving him a chance to show off his skillz during his 9-season career, 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.


Spotlight on 2 Great Teams You Won’t See During March Madness

Conference tournaments are happening this week to determine who makes it to March Madness!  Unfortunately, there are 2 great basketball teams you won’t see make it the Big Dance:  Louisville and SMU. And it’s a big b-ball bummer.

What happened to Louisville?  Despite finishing the season ranked at #14, Louisville took themselves out of the postseason about a month ago. Why?  The NCAA is reviewing allegations that strippers were paid by a Louisville staffer to sleep with college recruits from 2010-2014. Who should you feel really bad for?  Louisville’s 2 leading scorers who were seniors that transferred to Louisville this year to play in the tournament for the first time.  Now, they’ll never get their shot and they had nothing to do with all that ugliness.

What happened to SMU?  SMU can’t play in the tournament because they were sanctioned for academic fraud.  What happened?  An SMU staffer did a bunch of homework for star recruit Keith Frazier in 2013 so that he could join the program.  This year, the NCAA announced SMU was banned, but it was too late for their 3 seniors to transfer and play elsewhere.  And Frazier?  He left the team and will be transferring to North Texas next year for personal reasons.

It’s going to be sad not to see these teams in the tournament this year, because Rick Pitino (Louisville) and Larry Brown (SMU) are usually 2 of the best performing coaches in March Madness year after year.


Seen and Heard

OLYMPICS

The Rio Michael Phelps.  Yesterday, part-man, part-fish, and 22x Olympic medalist Michael Phelps released a new Under Armour commercial.  Sure he’s grown a beard and stopped drinking, but the underwater rocky-esque montage shows he’s training and eating as much as ever to prep for Rio 2016.  It was so beautiful he couldn’t help but tear up and get excited “…that the world is going to see the Real Michael Phelps.”


Hot Read

NFL

Free as a bird.  NFL free agency begins today so you’re going to hear rumors galore about where players will end up now that their contracts have expired.  We’ll keep you posted on all the big moves!

 So far, rumor has it that that Denver Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson will be leaving to join the Jacksonville Jaguars for a lot of $$$.  Ruh Roh.  This could be a big deal, because Jackson was a part of Denver’s killer defense that won them the Super Bowl this year.  This move means the Broncos could look like a pretty different team next season.