The Past week of sports news brought with it the start of the Little League World Series which has always captivated audiences with little kids crying after a loss as well as some amazing fun facts. In the professional sports arena this week Colin Kaepernick still isn’t a quarterback while Spike Lee spelled his name wrong, Jay Culter is officially the savior of the Miami Dolphins before ever even taking a snap, and the ESPN finally went out on a limb. Between the kids and the professionals here’s what went down:
The Good: ESPN “The Ocho”
In a salute to arguably one of the best sports movies ever made (Dodgeball) ESPNU re-branded as ESPN 8 “The Ocho” on 8/8/17. A brilliant marketing ploy that actually had some legs. ESPNU changed their programming for the day to shine a light on some of the wackier and more obscure sports in the world. And man – did these sports deliver. The highlights of “The Ocho” experiment were trampoline dodgeball, disc golf, roller derby, darts, the 2017 Cornhole Championship and more. There’s an old quote that says, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” It’s because of this inherent idea that ESPN gets the gold star for the week. With multiple sports networks tasked with producing continuous new sports content 24 hours a day it’s obvious that at some point the well dries up and sportscasters are retreading over the same stories. “The Ocho” was ESPN dipping their toe into the water of more diverse sports content which is hopefully a sign of more to come.
The World needs more trampoline dodgeball now more than ever.
The Bad: Jay Cutler’s Press Conference
One word to sum up Jay Cutler’s start in Miami: Magnificent. Any new quarterback press conference is always big news especially under Miami’s circumstances with an injury sending Cutler from retirement back onto the field. But somehow the former Chicago Bear seemed to surpass even the already lofty expectations. The opening presser was an instant meme and provided the most Jay Cutler quote of all time when asked about his workout routine:
“The good thing is I play quarterback so I don’t have to be in that great cardiovascular shape”
Cannot wait for the pundits to point back to this quote every single time something goes wrong this season to say Cutler has been out of shape since day one.
The Ugly: Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph was a staple of the grind house in Memphis and a bruiser in the NBA for the first half of my basketball fandom. The slow decline of his prominence perfectly correlated with the emergence of small ball basketball. Rock bottom for Randolph hit this last week however as his old team retired his jersey (a polite way to tell him they would not be resigning him) and he was arrested for marijuana possession with intent to sell. Even though the NBA is the most lenient and open minded of the major sports leagues when it comes to pot it’s still likely Randolph will face a lengthy suspension not to mention his upcoming legal troubles.