While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. With the NFL draft coming next week, analyst Lance Zierlein tells me: “I think Connor Williams slides into the back half of the first round as either a tackle or a guard. If not, he’ll go early in the second. (Linebacker) Malik Jefferson tested great, which everyone expected, but there are concerns about his instincts and how quickly he will diagnose plays on an NFL level. He could go in the third round, but some teams have him later than that on their draft boards.” As for undersized nose tackle Poona Ford, “his draft stock is tied more to his lack of size for the position rather than anything on tape or in workouts. I think he has a chance of going late in the draft but can make a team regardless of if or where he gets drafted.” … Zierlein thinks cornerback Holton Hill’s issues off the field are “a big concern for most of the teams I’ve spoken with. They just don’t think they can count on him. I see him falling into the fifth round or beyond, even though he’s a Day 2 talent. With safety DeShon Elliott, the concerns are about his fluidity in space and concerns over coverage. Everyone likes the size, and his straight-line speed was solid at the combine. I think he’s a Day 3 pick. Nobody has brought up Chris Warren up to this point.”
2. No one, but no one, really knows how hurt a player is, but I can’t cotton to Kawhi Leonard’s decision to not so much sit out the Spurs postseason but not even accompany the team to Golden State and sit on the bench for moral support, team camaraderie or even a word of encouragement or enlightenment to a younger teammate like Dejounte Murray. Steph Curry’s at the Warriors’ games. He couldn’t be more engaged. Joel Embiid is on the bench and almost has to be restrained by his coach from suiting up and running onto the court, and he’s got a broken face. I really do wonder how the Spurs and Leonard are going to repair this delicate, damaged relationship, if they even want to. I think Leonard, as great a player as there was in the league the last two seasons before this one and totally selfless, has done severe harm to his reputation.
3. Mike Gundy’s still my hero. The Mullett Man went all in on education. The Oklahoma State head football coach donated $35,000 to pay for armed security guards at every public school in the Stillwater district. He also showed support for the public school teachers who walked out in protest over their salaries. Gundy told The Athletic: “They aren’t making enough money. So it’s not like they’re trying to live this glamorous lifestyle. I’m a full-blooded American. I love this country. I believe in this country. I know that there are issues. I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative. I don’t care. I know that if we don’t start coming together and making common-sense decisions, then we’re going to have some issues. We have to instill that in our kids, and that’s what teachers can do. I get tired of people talking about the police all the time like everything’s bad. There’s bad everywhere. …” Pretty much sums it up.
4. Did Oklahoma City really suspend its TV play-by-play man for just saying Russell Westbrook was playing so well he was “out of his cotton-picking mind”? Unbelievable, the depths our sensitivities go to. Was there any racist intent? The announcer, Brian Davis, found out the hard way when he was suspended one game for his innocuous remark. As the son of a cotton farmer who picked and chopped cotton side by side with whites and blacks for 10 years, I don’t understand the uproar in 2018, but I obviously come from a different racial past as a Caucasian. Even Westbrook said Davis did wrong. Clearly he did not use the term in a derogatory manner. Have we gone too far in reading something sinister into every comment?
5. Ran a highly scientific poll last week on Twitter and asked if our fair city is more interested in Houston or Dallas sports. Of the 775 who cast a vote, 53 percent leaned toward Houston over Dallas. Probably only a matter of timing, given the Rockets’ NBA-best regular-season record, the Astros’ recent World Series championship and Deshaun Watson’s presence with the Texans. I blame Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones and Nellie Cruz.
6. Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre bared his soul on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today” and said he figured he suffered three or four concussions during his 20-year NFL career. But he referenced Dr. Bennet Omalu, who first brought the term chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) into the public’s consciousness and was portrayed in the excellent movie “Concussion.” Favre said Omalu considers “getting dinged” a concussion, and “if that is a concussion, I’ve had hundreds, probably thousands.”
7. Was informed on “Intentional Talk,” one of my favorite shows, about the Dallas Keuchel Smoke Stack 60. Corpus Christi Hooks consumers can try to partake of this concoction that weighs — you ready? — 6 pounds. It’s a burger composed of sourdough bread, prime rib, brisket, sausage, onion rings, mac and cheese, cole slaw, pickles and, of course, bacon. What, no fries? If you finish this delicacy within an hour, you win $60 and I assume free transportation to the minor emergency clinic of your choosing. OK, Round Rock Express, whatcha got? Well, their most popular item is the grilled cheese hot dog — a Nolan Ryan beef hot dog, naturally, with a grilled cheese sandwich as the bun. … Were you as stirred by Bartolo Colon’s performance Sunday night as I was? The 44-year-old pitcher, who I can only assume has devoured a Keuchel Smoke Stack or two, carried a perfect game for the Rangers into the eighth inning against the Astros. I was thinking of making a comeback until I remembered I’d be huffing and puffing just walking out to the mound.
8. Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to David Maroul, the strong-armed, light-hitting former Longhorns third baseman who caught fire and was the MVP of the 2005 College World Series. Last week’s target, deep threat Herkie Walls — Robert Brewer’s main target in the early 1980s — is a preacher at New Generation Gospel Church in Casselberry, Fla., where he’s married with two kids.
9. Loved “A Quiet Place” from beginning to suspenseful, terrifying end. Perfect title. Unique storyline. Creative monster. Always a fan of John Krasinski, who directed it, and his real-life wife, Emily Blunt. Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds was superb. Maybe Oscar-worthy. Best movie I’ve seen so far this year. Gave it 8½ ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Johnny Manziel will never take another snap in the NFL and will go into coaching.
BOHLS, GOLDEN PODCAST
Catch columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden during their weekly “On Second Thought” podcasts, which pop up on Thursdays. This week’s guest is San Antonio Express-News writer Jeff McDonald, who covers the Spurs.
HOW CRAZY WAS HE?
Looking back at Kirk’s crazy prediction from April 19, 2017 — that Central Michigan’s Corey Davis would have the best season among NFL rookie receivers. Davis didn’t. And it wasn’t even close.