April 26, 2018

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 12 comments

So all in all, Wednesday night was not Toronto's night. The Jays lose a lead and the game to a pair of bombs from Mookie Betts, the Leafs lose a lead and the game turns badly in the 3rd period. Despite hanging tough, Leafs are done for the year. One that is somewhat overlooked in the rest of the excitement is Toronto's loss in the CONCACAF Champion's League final. Perhaps this was the hardest of all. It came down to penalty kicks, after the teams were tied in wins and aggregate goals. The Raptors still survive in the NBA playoffs, leading the Wizards 3-2, but Washington has surprised a bit and could take it to a 7 game series.

This year it really appears as if Toronto is challenging Boston as the best sports city in North America. Having 3 teams in the postseason or in international league championships, and one team a strong possibility to also make the postseason in the fall, makes for strong credentials.

posted by Howard_T at 11:32 AM on April 26

Lost in all of the discussion about TO's sports teams is the fact that the Argonauts beat heavy odds in winning the 2017 Grey Cup and are likely to be the Eastern Conference favorite again this year.

They are an exciting team, all they need is some fan support.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:30 PM on April 26

This year it really appears as if Toronto is challenging Boston as the best sports city in North America. Having 3 teams in the postseason or in international league championships, and one team a strong possibility to also make the postseason in the fall, makes for strong credentials.

It all started with Toronto Wolfpack (inaugural season in the UK's third-tier professional rugby league, League 1) winning all of their League 1 games and getting promoted to the Championship (a step below the Super League) in September 2017.

Then the Toronto Argos won the Grey Cup in November 2017.

Then TFC finished off their domestic treble by winning the MLS Cup in December 2017.

The Raptors finished first in the Eastern conference.

The Leafs finished in the top 5 in the NHL.

The Blue Jays are going to finish with their first .500 (or better) April since 2012.

The Marlies (the Leafs' AHL minor league team) finished first in the league and are currently leading their first round playoff series.

(The Toronto Rock are struggling in the NLL right now.)

It's the golden age for Toronto sports (regardless of how things went last night).

posted by grum@work at 12:36 PM on April 26

Are the Marlies and Checkers on an epic collision course this year?

posted by NoMich at 01:18 PM on April 26

After LeBron's goaltend "block" on Oladipo in crunch time, I enjoyed seeing the camera shot of the Cavs home crowd, showing several people wearing "CLEVELAND WHATEVER IT TAKES" T shirts.

posted by beaverboard at 01:39 PM on April 26

Credit to Lebron for that play. If the officials - including the one 3 feet away from that play with a clear view - aren't going to blow the whistle in the non-home team's favor near the end of games may as well hack / grab / goaltend / whatever it takes to win.

Not the first time and won't be the last.

NBA Officiating really ruins the games.

posted by cixelsyd at 08:43 PM on April 26

The Broncos picked NC State's Bradley Chubb. The rich get richer on D with that pick.

posted by NoMich at 09:52 PM on April 26

And the Saints acted like they've been listening to Mike Ditka motivational drafting seminars in their sleep.

posted by beaverboard at 11:25 PM on April 26

Just read up on that situation. Whoah. This year's 1st and 5th, and next year's 1st to move up in the draft?! OK, as a Panthers fan, I'm OK with this deal.

posted by NoMich at 07:33 AM on April 27

In honor of the Chubb selection, some walkup music, courtesy of - who else? - Vulfpeck!

posted by beaverboard at 11:10 AM on April 27

NBA Officiating really ruins the games

Shortly after the missed goaltending, Pacers were awarded the ball on an out of bounds play in which the ball clearly went off a Pacer. Cleveland did not appeal, perhaps knowing that it was a makeup for the missed goaltend.

In Boston's game 5 win, a shot by Horford was ruled to have been made prior to the 24-second shot clock expiring, even though replays showed the ball was still in his hand as the horn sounded. I can attest from personal knowledge, having been in the building that evening, that it was impossible to hear the horn because of the roaring crowd. The shot was missed, but Boston got the rebound and ran another critical 20 seconds off the clock before Milwaukee gained possession.

The NBA issues something called "The Last 2 Minute Report" that explains any missed calls in the last 2 minutes of a game. This is at best a move toward greater accountability on the part of the officials. It doesn't go far enough. What discipline is being applied to referees who miss calls? Are they fined, docked games, perhaps suspended? It has been very noticeable, almost since the league began, that some players are not held to the same standards as others. I understand that this is because fans don't watch the game to see LeBron or the Greek Freak foul out in the 3rd quarter, but if you are going to protect a player from one side, give the same treatment to one from the other side. Better yet, treat all the same and let the chips fall where they may.

posted by Howard_T at 04:59 PM on April 27

Back in my college days a group of us used to stay after practice until the coaching staff left and play a game we called powerhouse. It was 1 on 1, 1 on 2, 2 on 2 - whatever. Basically "anything goes" rules applied; there were never any punches thrown, but a whole lot of bruising involved .. fouls were expected and never called.

As I remember the contest was always decided by the players. Got me thinking that the NBA might be better off sending the officials off the court at 2 minutes remaining.

Nothing is more annoying than spending 2 or 3 hours watching a great game between 2 teams to have the outcome decided by the officials and not the teams. And it's become pretty much standard fare in the NBA.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:14 PM on April 27

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