In the past week: Spring Training officially began and the Winter Olympics kept chugging along. Is that it? I think that really might be it. February is really the doldrums of the sport year. The NFL is in a post Super Bowl hangover, it’s the dog days of both the NHL and NBA seasons (NHL players should be in Pyeongchang right now, thanks Bettman), and it’s just before the excitement of March Madness. Not surprisingly, it resulted in a pretty slow news week. But there’s always fun little nuggets that slip through the cracks. Those are the stories that I live for.
1. Champions League Round of 16
This week’s #UCL fixtures! 😍
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 12, 2018
It’s a World Cup year, which means that in 4 months you’ll be pretending to care about soccer. If you’re going to pretend to care, at least be knowledgeable. These are the 16 best clubs in Europe, which means they’re the 16 best in the world this season. Just watch the games.
2. College Baseball Opening Weekend
College baseball opens this weekend. If you’re interested, Florida and Oregon State have the two best teams in the country. Florida has Brady Singer, the top college draft prospect. But allow me to introduce you to the best fans in the country.
HERE THEY COME! pic.twitter.com/hogh7WPRHb
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) February 13, 2018
3. Ryan Donato
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) February 16, 2018
The Harvard star is now an Olympic hero after scoring both goals in a 2-1 US win against Slovakia. Learn the name, he’s a very highly regarded Bruins prospect. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t wind up on the playoff roster this year, but if not, he’ll crack the opening day lineup to start 2018-19.
4. Dion Phaneuf Got Traded
— Sens communications (@Media_Sens) February 14, 2018
This will be the first time that Phaneuf has played on a team not based in Canada. But does anyone really care about Dion Phaneuf anymore? No.
5. Flint Firebirds Beautiful Jersey
— Jason Lewis (@JasonLewis_TV) February 15, 2018
The OHL team best known for having their entire roster quit mid-season is back in the news! With some epic Flint Tropics jerseys.
6. Magic Johnson Can’t Stop Getting Fined
So this actually happened 10 days ago. Out of weekly realm. Oh well. It’s been in the news a lot this week. At this point Magic is basically begging players to sign with the Lakers. I thought everyone wanted to be a Laker?
The NBA has fined the Lakers $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. It is in response to statements regarding Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo made by Magic Johnson in an interview.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 6, 2018
7. Kyrie Irving Went On Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel gave guest Kyrie Irving a gift of a round Earth basketball on Thursday night. pic.twitter.com/UP2EcZlr9m
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) February 16, 2018
Flat Earth huh?
8. Jeff Hornacek’s Coaching
Hornacek reiterated that Ntilikina, Mudiay & Burke will play more after the All-Star Break. On Ntilikina playing 11 min tonight, Hornacek said he liked what Jarrett Jack was doing w/the starters & said Ntilikina isn’t used to defending an SG coming off screens like Jodie Meeks.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 15, 2018
Bold take Jeff. If only there was someone paid to teach Ntilikina how to defend something like an SG coming off screens.
9. Esteban Loaiza….Not Guilty?
— ABC News (@ABC) February 15, 2018
One of the more wild stories of the week, former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza was arrested with 44 pounds of cocaine and heroin. He then pleaded not guilty on an attempt to sell charge. There’s a roughly negative infinity percent chance Loaiza wins his case, but it’ll be fun seeing him try to convince a jury he personally needed 44 freaking pounds of blow.
10. Jake Peavy Is Nuts
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 14, 2018
This is a great article, well worth the read. There were many big revelations. Peavy is a great guy, who lost over $15 million and got divorced in the span of one 6 month period. The best revelation? Peavy pitched in major league games after covering his body in Icy Hot. Including his balls. Psycho.
Got any other crazy stories? Send them to me on Twitter @bborders12
-Brian Borders (@bborders12)