I don’t have a typical column for you this week — I’ve been too caught up in the draft, I suppose — so instead I’m bringing you my thoughts on a few highlights from around the world of sports for the week. Leading off, after writing the last two weeks about some of the seniors who are missing out on their final year of spring sports, I want to extend well-wishes to those kids as they move on to the next level. I hope those that will be playing sports at the next level gain a new appreciation for the games that they play, and for those who have played their last game, I hope you have valued your sports over the past few years and I hope you have made plenty of memories to look back fondly on the experience.
The NFL was shook up a bit this week, as All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to force a trade from the Patriots to join former teammate Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. I’m sure the fit with the coach was a big decision factor for Brady, but there were several teams—the Titans, Chargers and Colts, for example—that had ties to Brady and much better rosters than the Buccaneers. It makes you wonder how much the Mahomes Factor is playing into other players’ decision making. It sure seems like Brady was avoiding the AFC and in particular, any chance of a playoff matchup with Mahomes and the Chiefs. The conference is not stacked the way it was just a few years ago, though the Titans, Ravens and Chiefs do form a striking shadow from the top down—but it seems that steering clear of Kansas City’s phenom could be a trend worth watching going forward.
The Last Dance aired on ESPN this week. I’m not the biggest pro basketball fan, and I think I was one of the few who cheered against Michael Jordan during his prime, but the dearth of sports entertainment in recent months definitely had me ready to watch, and it did not disappoint. The first two episodes are out, and the show highlighted the early part of MJ’s career and focused some on the best second-fiddle player of all time, in Pippen, weaving in the narrative of the team’s attempt at its sixth and final NBA title. If you are able to watch it, I would strongly suggest giving it a shot.
I don’t know about you, but I’m about as excited as I can be for the NFL draft. It’s going to be different, and there is likely to be something crazy happen with technology, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. The first round will have already aired by the time this comes out on Friday, but I hope this is the craziest draft ever. I figure there will either be a near record number of trades or it will be one of the safest drafts of all time. For entertainment value, I’m hoping for the former, but for the Chiefs I’m hoping for the latter. If other teams play it safe, I believe the Chiefs will make some crazy moves on talented players that are sliding, which would be fun.
And finally, on a local note, I want to wish the very best to Horton High School alumnus Trey Dishon. The KSU standout declared for the draft after his senior season in Manhattan, and a lot of people back home are pulling for him to get drafted. Personally, I think he’s got a solid chance in a year that could see teams going heavy on picks along the line, but even if the draft doesn’t come calling, I still see a solid pro career in the future for the former Horton star. Good luck, Trey!