Fun Fact of the Day: Even though Donald Trump is “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Gerald Ford was probably the most athletic president of all time. He played on 2 national championship football teams at Michigan, and was team MVP in 1934.
NBA: All-Star Edition
The shape of an L on his forehead… Yesterday, the NBA unveiled this year’s All-Star game starters. It’s no surprise that big stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant made the cut, but there was one very noticeable snub: Russell Westbrook.
What’s the big deal? Westbrook is the most athletic point guard in the league and he’s been playing out of his mind this year. He’s currently averaging a triple-double for the season, something that hasn’t been done this deep in the season since Oscar Robertson back in 1963.
How did this travesty occur? This was the first year of the NBA’s new All-Star voting system. In the past, starters were selected based entirely on fan votes. Then the NBA started noticing that fans weren’t taking the responsibility seriously; they were using ballot-stuffing robots or joke voting for unworthy players. Instead, the NBA changed the rule to make the fan vote count for only 50%, player votes count for 25%, and media votes count for 25%.
That brings us to Mr. Unpopular. After the NBA math nerds ran the numbers, Westbrook was tied with Steph Curry and James Harden. Unfortunately, he lost the tiebreaker, because he had the lowest proportion of fan votes; Westbrook came in 1st in the media and player votes, but 3rd in the fan vote. Now, some former players are calling this one of the biggest All-Star snubs of all time. Maybe the NBA will want to take away even more power from the people next time?
Secrets, secrets are no fun. The Seattle Seahawks may lose their 2nd round draft pick because they withheld injury information from the NFL. It turns out star cornerback Richard Sherman was playing with a MCL injury for half of the season, but the Seahawks never included him on an injury report. Now, the team’s in trouble for violating the NFL rule that requires disclosure of all significant injuries. How did the press find out? Sherman threw a lot of tantrums on the sidelines this season, so ESPN decided to ask head coach Pete Carroll what was up with Sherman’s volatile ‘tude. Carroll was defending Sherman, when he accidentally let slip that Sherman was frustrated by his secret MCL injury. Oops!
Conference Championships. This is it! The winners of these games will meet in the Super Bowl on February 5th. Here’s your preview for each game:
- NFC: Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons. Offense meet offense. These two teams have meh defenses, but their QBs are at the top of their games. The Falcons’ Matt Ryan (aka “Matty Ice”) has the best passer rating in the NFL and is the favorite to win this year’s MVP award. Meanwhile, the Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has led the team to 8 straight wins, with his one-of-a-kind ability to make (and even design!) insane plays like this one from last week’s Divisional Round game. Sunday 3pm ET on FOX
- AFC: Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots. Usually the Pats smoke the Steelers. In fact, Pats QB Tom Brady is 9-2 all-time against the Steelers’ team. But the Pats looked a little shaky last weekend, so the Steelers could give them a run for their money. The Steelers are coming in hot, having won 9 games in a row thanks to their star wide receiver Antonio Brown and their incredible running back Le’Veon Bell, who set a franchise record for rushing yards last week. One thing that could slow them down is the distraction Brown caused by videotaping his head coach’s anti-Pats rant from the locker room after last week’s game. Sunday 6:40pm ET on CBS