Right now the world faces a pandemic like nothing before. Colleges, restaurants, and entire sports leagues have shut down while high school seniors will now never get to experience their senior prom or proper graduation. COVID-19 has brought the Earth to a standstill and put life on pause worldwide in astonishing and stupefying fashion. Sports fans nationwide also anguish in the absence of the electric entertainment athletes once provided daily.
Nonetheless, here at The Sports Wave, life goes on as usual. With readers stuck in their homes with no sports to watch, we must fill the grave absence of entertainment brought on by this global natural disaster. While the coronavirus has caused sickness on a global scale, I’m lucky to just be sickened by the atrocious sports-takes I see daily. In particular, there are four main sports-takes that I’m frankly sick of hearing.
1. The Buccaneers have no chance
One of the biggest moves of the NFL off-season, if not the biggest, was when six-time Super Bowl champion and arguably the GOAT Tom Brady ended up leaving the Patriots after creating one of the most formidable dynasties in sports history. To much of everybody’s surprise, he opted to take his talents to the Bay Area. No, not the Super Bowl runner ups in San Francisco (despite many rumors of him joining the 49ers faithful), but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have struggled to maintain relevance since Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott.
Many have already written this move off as a puzzling, botched opportunity for TB12; however, don’t be so quick to count Tampa Bay out this season. Last season, the Buccaneers had the league’s number one run defense (and it wasn’t even close), were top ten in sacks, and each of their top two receivers (Chris Godwin and Mike Evans) had 1100+ receiving yards, 8+ receiving touchdowns, and 15+ yards per reception.
Perhaps most importantly, six of the Buccaneers’ nine losses were one-possession games. In those six games, the previous Tampa Bay starter, a la Jameis Winston, had nine interceptions. Furthermore, Winston had an astronomical thirty interceptions on the season. With the turnover machine that is Winston now replaced with the GOAT, it could make all the difference in the world between six one-possession losses last season and a playoff berth this upcoming season. Brady has the supporting cast to do it. If Tampa Bay addresses the offensive line and running back early in the draft, expect at least a playoff berth out of Tampa Tom this season.
2. Golden State is now irrelevant.
I can at least understand this take to some extent, but I’m still sick of the hyperbole of Golden State’s downfall. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have been out with injury and that pair of devastating injuries, combined with Kevin Durant’s departure in free agency to Brooklyn, has left the Warriors soul-searching. However, Curry and Thompson still have a couple of years of electric play left in them and the postponement of the season due to COVID-19 only aids in their recovery processes.
The lingering threat of Golden State becomes even more apparent when fans take a second to consider the fact that next season, the Warriors will have a healthy and likely still dominant Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson along with the number one overall pick in the draft. If Golden State so chooses, they could flip that pick for another star player and form another terrifying big three in the bay area.
Additionally, Andrew Wiggins has been extremely solid since the boys in blue and gold traded for him, averaging 19.4 points per game on 46% shooting since joining the Warriors. He should be able to serve as a valuable role player or trade piece along with the number one pick to swing a blockbuster deal this upcoming summer.
Long story short, I know screaming doomsday about a previous unfairly dominant dynasty in sports is often enticing, but don’t be so quick to count out Golden State as a championship contender the next few seasons.
3. Dak Prescott doesn’t deserve his payday
I could go on and on regarding this topic and rip every inch of it to shreds. Never in my life have I seen a franchise quarterback receive so much undeserved hate from his fan base. It’s vital to rewind to the fateful moment Tony Romo went down with a serious back injury versus the Seahawks in a 2016 preseason matchup. As soon as Cliff Avril pulled Romo down and he clutched at his back in pain one universal thought rang through the head of the Dallas fan base: we’re screwed.
The sirens alarmed all across the fan base as we knew that was likely the end of the road for Tony Romo and the team looked for its new face at the quarterback position. Dak Prescott then came in and proceeded to go 13-3, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year as a fourth-round pick. Granted, after that Prescott’s career has been riddled with inconsistency and mediocrity. Nonetheless, even then he would sporadically show flashes of a star just waiting to break out.
His second season was a severe step back and was riddled with crushing losses like the unfortunately memorable loss to Atlanta where Adrian Clayborne somehow pulled off six sacks. However, in year three, Prescott found his stride with his new buddy, the receiver from Oakland: Amari Cooper. This season, ignore the stats. Yes he was second in the league in passing yards with 4,900 yards and yes he was fourth league-wide with 30 passing touchdowns, but the stats don’t do him justice.
On film, it was evident he took major strides in his development as a passer this season. His confidence was sky high in a way never seen before in Prescott as he attempted the deep ball a lot and was fifth league-wide in yards per attempt.
Additionally, he was zipping passes into tight windows, not being reckless but in a demeanor full of bravado and success. The very best example of this was his game against Minnesota, as time and time again he was willing to thread the needle and dare coverages to make plays. Additionally, he broke the internet with the “Dak dance” during pregame warm-ups, but even this displays his progression.
Prescott’s biggest weakness his entire career, besides perhaps his timid play style downfield (which I just addressed), was his erratic and sloppy footwork. Dak would often throw off of his back foot or without setting his feet, causing inaccuracy and unreliable power on his throws, making them flutter short or sail high off his receivers. The purpose of the “Dak dance” warmup is to generate torque through the unwinding of his hips and eliminate the necessity to step through his throws and thus, reducing the tendency to rely on sloppy footwork in his throws.
It isn’t often that a franchise quarterback arrives dramatically like Prescott did, let alone in the fourth round. Now that he is finally showing the results of his potential instead of agonizingly teasing with inconsistent stretches of sporadic “oooooh”s and “ahh”s, there is no way Dallas can let him walk.
At any cost. It may hurt the fan base to see him eat $35 million a year, but next free agency or the year after a quarterback undoubtedly less talented than himself will reset the market. Teams just can’t afford to let franchise quarterbacks walk when they have one unless Dallas fans want to risk another quarterback carousel of Quincy Carter proportions…
4. Giannis is the runaway MVP frontrunner
Two words: LeBron James. All credit to the “Greek Freak” himself, as he has cemented himself in the MVP race and garnered credit as the frontrunner for good reason. Nonetheless, NBA fans need to be realistic about how close this MVP race has gotten. LeBron James has managed to turn a team that missed the playoffs entirely last season into the best of the West, and he’s done it with style.
Father Time is punching the air right now as James is 35 years old and averaging 25.7 points per game while shooting 49.8% from the field, 35% from downtown, leading the league in assists with 10.6 assists per game, as well as a respectable 7.9 rebounds per game. This MVP race seemed like a done deal for much of the season but recently The King has made it clear it is anything but such. In three of his last four games, LeBron has led the Lakers to wins over the respectable 76ers, Kawhi Leonard and the Western Conference’s runner-ups via the Clippers, and the Bucks themselves.
What better way to leap ahead of the current MVP frontrunner than to best him head-on? James took the Bucks head-on and had many plays where he had a one-on-one matchup against Giannis himself, just to blow by him for the bucket. All respect is given to Giannis and what he has done this season, but don’t be so confident in your conviction that he has the race on lockdown, NBA fans. The King is coming for his throne.
Quarantine is undoubtedly taking a toll on everyone’s emotional and mental well-being right now. Isolation can do damage to people. However, never let yourself fall victim to these absolutely horrid sports takes. In a world where illness is winning over, I can’t help but just be sick and tired of having to hear these absurdities.
Regardless, stay safe everybody, hold your family close, and use this time to truly appreciate the loved ones in your life. Every day, we take for granted the daily luxuries all around us whether it be restaurants, movie theaters, or spending time with friends and loved ones. Take this quarantine as a chance to let those special people know you care and are there no matter what distance lies between and no matter what catastrophe may strike. In the meantime, thank you for choosing to spend your quarantine reading our articles at The Sports Wave and leave your thoughts in the comments below!