I was channel surfing the other night, and happened to stumble across the late 90's teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. While it was far from the late Heath Ledger's finest performance, I did stop for a few minutes to reflect on how much I loved some of his other work that would come later.
The Dark Knight. A Knights Tale. The Patriot. All solid films.
That said, this column has nothing to do with the movie itself, nor the William Shakespeare work (The Taming of the Shrew) it was adapted from. But, for whatever reason, as I was flipping through the guide on my way to find the NBA playoffs, a thought hit me: what are 10 things I hate about sports? What about 10 things I love about sports?
So, in the spirit of the title, here are 10 things (in no particular order) that I have loved, and hated, about sports so far in 2017.
10 things I hate about sports in 2017
John Higgins getting threats from Kentucky fans
This situation crossed numerous lines after Higgins' officiated a game in the NCAA tournament that saw Kentucky fall to North Carolina.
It was childish, dangerous, and just plain stupid on the part of a group of Kentucky fans. I hope we never see anything like this again, in any sport.
Maurice Watson Jr.'s arrest
This was a dark and ugly story from the start, and we haven't had much resolution yet.
Either Watson is guilty of an awful crime, or he's being falsely accused of an awful crime. Either way, it's not a good situation.
The "Pipeline" talk
The Pipeline tradition is unmatched.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) May 9, 2017
I'm probably being too picky here, but simply putting on a Huskers jersey and playing offensive line, does not a "pipeline" member make.
I'm glad Coach Cav understands the tradition and is excited, and is to a certain extent using it to recruit offensive lineman to Lincoln.
But the vintage Nebraska Pipelines were among the elite in college football history.
If you've watched any Husker football at all recently, you know it's just not there at the moment. To me, it's almost a slap in the face to the members of those elite units that helped NU capture multiple national titles.
Maybe someday the Pipeline will be back at Nebraska, but not today.
Gary Barta's actions as Iowa's athletic director
The University of Iowa just lost an ugly anti-discrimination lawsuit to former athletics administrator Jane Meyer. They've got another one coming up this summer from former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, who also happens to be Meyer's partner.
At the center of it are Barta's actions against his employees.
I'm sure the university plans to appeal the Meyer verdict, but the jury was unanimous in it's decision in round one. It seems like they were pretty convinced Barta and the university were at fault, and that's a terrible deal for Iowa.
Discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of gender of sexual orientation is simply wrong, no matter how you slice it. A call for new leadership may be needed.
I hate what he's doing to his son. The Big Baller Brand thing and the $495 ZO2 shoes probably aren't going to work out, and he's cost his kid a shot at a lot of money with a traditional endorsement deal.
The whole thing feels like a poorly thought out WWE villain storyline. It's time to stop putting this guy on TV to talk about it.
Nick Saban making $11.1 million next year
I know this is America, and if you can get it, you're going to take it.
Do you know what the average salary is for a neurosurgeon in the United States? Per PayScale.com: $380,378. That means Nick Saban is worth approximately 29 brain surgeons.
Is he, or any coach, really worth that much?
The CFB title game taking four hours to play
That thing drug on forever. Good thing there was one heck of a memorable ending. Can you imagine if it ended in a rout?
I'm glad to hear Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst say that shortening games in something the football oversight committee is going to look at.
People calling in penalties on golfers from home
This needs to stop, in ALL shapes and forms, immediately.
Lexi Thompson handled having a major ripped away from her with incredible grace. I would not have.
Chicago Cubs fans attitudes
I was thrilled when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. I really was. I was happy for all the Cubs fans in my life, and as a lifelong baseball fan, I was happy for the historical significance of the victory.
In 2017? I'm not quite as thrilled.
I'm tired of all the "Fly the W!" tweets. I'm tired of their new found smugness that comes with finally winning a championship (after over 100 years, mind you). I'm tired of hearing "Go Cubs, Go!"
With any luck, it'll be another 100 years before we all have to suffer through this again.
The Atlanta Braves signing Ryan Howard
Did I mention I'm a lifelong baseball fan, one that cheers unapologetically for the Atlanta Braves?
I didn't like Howard early in his career when he was with the Phillies smashing bombs against the Braves.
I didn't mind him later in his career when he was striking out 200+ times a season with the Phillies.
And then, the Braves signed him to a minor league deal. As if this season wasn't already going to be bad enough...
Enough of the bad, lets get to some of the good.
10 things I love about sports in 2017
Through the first two series of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Guentzel has racked up 14 points on nine goals and five assists. He's skating on the Penguin's top line with Sidney Crosby, the best player in the world right now.
He's been outstanding all year for Pittsburgh, and looks like he's just scratching the surface of his true potential.
And, best of all, he's a UNO Maverick. Game, set, match.
Nebraska's new crop of quarterbacks
There's a lot to like about the trio of Tanner Lee, Patrick O'Brien, and Tristan Gebbia.
I like the fact that Mike Riley named Lee the starter coming out of spring ball. It sets the tone for the summer, and allows the offense to build around one primary guy for the fall.
I like how far O'Brien has come in his time at Nebraska, and that he was able to make the race in the spring a competitive one.
I REALLY like what Tristan Gebbia showed in the spring game. He'll need to add some weight, but he looks like the future.
On the whole, it's the best shape the Nebraska quarterback room has been in for a long, long time.
Maybe the Huskers didn't land any of the five star prospects they had on their board this time around, but they're getting pretty darn close.
This year's class featured a few skill position players that the Huskers simply weren't in a postilion to land in the past, such as WR Tyjon Lindsey and DB Elijia Blades.
Things are definably trending in the right direction on the recruiting trail.
Bob Diaco / Bob Elliott
How ironic that a pair of former Iowa Hawkeyes are now at the center of Nebraska's defense.
Regardless of where they came from, both Diaco and Elliott are the real deal, and will help transform Nebraska's defense immediately.
It's a couple of home run hires for Riley.
Brian Ferentz as Iowa's offensive coordinator
Comments about recruiting aside for a moment, it was plenty past time for Iowa to make a change at offensive coordinator, and the younger Ferentz feels like the perfect man for the job.
He's been charged with improving the Hawkeye's run game over the past few seasons (which he has), and is one of the few guys out there that will be able to operate somewhat independent of his father's influence.
Don't be surprised if the next head coach at Iowa has the same last name as the current one. This move feels like a table setter for things still to come, and I like it a lot.
Iowa football smack talk
Speaking of Brian Ferentz, I like the fact that he's willing to go public with a little smack talk from time to time.
Sure, what he said about Nebraska this past week didn't necessarily make a lot of sense, and may not have been completely accurate, but taking a jab at your rivals every now and again isn't such a bad thing.
What fun is college football if everyone just gets along all the time?
Iowa has been pretty blah for a long time when it comes to this kind of thing, and I'm glad to see Ferentz is willing to stir the pot a little bit.
Earlier official visits. A December signing period. Camp reform. Good, good, and good.
Now, lets not stop there. Keep the reform momentum rolling, and let kids sign anytime after their junior year.
Chelsea winning the Premier League crown.
— CHAMPIONS! ? (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2017
This is a selfish one. #GoBlues!
Great moment: East Carolina's Scottie Montgomery surprised a mother with a full scholarship for her son. pic.twitter.com/OXT15S6C2c
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 11, 2017
I don't know how much better it could get.
The Atlanta Braves cutting Ryan Howard
See above. Glad that nightmare is over.
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