George Thurogood, NFL Combine, MLS and Intentional Walk Waves Goodbye

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Today’s Gratuitous Photo

EL BRONX, EL BARRIO – I was suffering from a food hangover. It felt like I had a hangover but I hadn’t been drinking, so I assume it was the Popeye’s Chicken I ate. Regardless, I got the email to be Pinch-hit Matt again and as usual, I lived up to my name… well, because I like writing. So with all the critical back-story out of the way, it’s time to get to the article. Keeping with my world-renkowned new routine, you get a Song of the Week before I get to the Sports Stuff. Today’s menu: George Thurgood, NFL Combine, MLS and the Intentional Walk.

Let’s begin with the music…

Song of the Week: I got on a run of old school songs the other day. I remembered my time playing rugby in Canada and some of the great songs my teammates introduced me too. One of the artists they turned me on to was George Thurogood. I had only known him from Bad to Bone fame and to be frank, I think that was based on it being played during an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks. So when I was heard some of his other songs, I was wowed at how awesome and real he was. As a result, my Song of the Week is the George Thurogood and The Destroyers’ classic: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer!

Now for the Sports Stuff kinda.

Wonderlic Test?

NFL Combine: The NFL Combine recently finished and I still don’t understand why it is always held in Indianapolis? Is there no other city that deserves it?! Is it because it is in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing going on in Indianapolis this time of year? Or maybe the Colts have some insane deal we don’t know about. The NFL combine bothers me for two reasons: 1) Why do people watch this stuff? It is just madness to me that you would turn on the TV and just watch guys workout? All of this tells you nothing about a player. Which brings me to my second point: 2) The combine is a good starting point about to assess raw ability of a player but lets not forget – Vernon Davis had the fastest time for a tight end. What has he amounted to? And even closer to home, The Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a near perfect on the Wonderlic Test and he still sucks.

MLS Season 22: We are now entering the 22nd season of Major League Soccer. Last weekend kicked it off. Yes, I know you guys fall asleep when we talk about soccer. However, can you believe that we have been at it for 22 years?! From a start of 8 teams we now have 22, which is an insane achievement. The league now makes the ESPN highlights shows and is on Sportscenter. It is now home to some of the best the players on the US National team, as the players choose to make good coin and stay close to home, rather than Europe. The also learned from their mistakes along the way, contracting three clubs that were under-performing. They have shut up all those that compared them to the NASL (Pele and the NY Cosmos for the uneducated) as they have lasted longer and become financially successful. Here’s to a great season 22!!!

RIP Intentional WalkIn a long anticipated move, MLB has killed the intentional walk. It is not that it can’t happen, it is just that we don’t have to sit through the process of watching 4 pointless pitches out wide, while the batter looks like he his gonna do something. The move has been made for the manager to just signal the umpire and then we are done. No pitches wasted and 2 minutes (at least) saved. Everybody is happy. I think.

That’s all I have… Please feel free to leave your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for our drunken bus driver, Cheesy Bruin. You can also find us on Twitter – @JunoirBlaber & @MeetTheMatts, Instagram -@MeetTheMatts and FacebookMeet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name “Junoir” is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed “Junoir” on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona – [June-noire]… Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers… And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s… He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber

  • benwhit

    Vernon Davis has had a decent career – 500+ catches, 6,000+ receiving yards and 57 TDs. He had 2 13 TD seasons.

    • Yeah, but still.

      • Junoir Blaber

        Exactly. Mark Bavaro he is not.

    • DJ Eberle

      Yeah, Vernon Davis was pretty good in his prime. Never really had a quarterback either. It’s just another part of the scouting process for NFL personnel. And if anything, the stuff we don’t see on TV (interviews and medicals) are the most important part of the event and are extremely important when you look at the scouting process as a whole. That alone is why Chad Kelly and Joe Mixon shouldn’t have been banned from the combine. It’s also why NFL teams didn’t want them banned. From a fan point of view, as someone who played, coached and now covers football for a living, I can pick up a lot of stuff from the drills and such, and I’m not talking about the 40. For the average fan, it gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with different prospects.

      • GrindingAx

        Mixon is a friggin thug who punched out a girl for no reason. No team should sign that punk who has no remorse.

        • DJ Eberle

          I’m not saying a team should draft him. But one will. He has a first-round grade.

  • GrindingAx

    Junoir, the issue back when Pele, Beckenbauer and company roamed the turf at Giants Stadium was the size of the venues. Soccer was in it’s infancy in the USA. The MLS model rolled out a conservative approach along with a multi million count of youth playing at that time. The key is for parents and clubs to get the kids to these games.

    • Zzzzzzz ? = ?

      • GrindingAx

        I think the US Rugby cult should attempt to follow a similar model.

        • Junoir Blaber

          FIFA backed the MLS and made future access a key part of the deals for MLS. Rugby doesn’t have as much clout.

    • Junoir Blaber

      Oh I fully agree but to the Wards and Matts of this world, they can’t stop bringing up the failure of the NASL as proof that Soccer is not meant for the USA, when the NASL was just a poorly managed attempt.

      • AngryWard

        The NASL and the Cosmos still exist. Cosmos are defending champs and will be playing their home games this year at MCU Park in Coney Island (aka the Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones).

  • Abolishing the intentional walk is an abomination and another step toward distancing ourselves from baseball’s historic past. There have been many instances where an error or inability to execute what should be a simple task, cost a team a game. If there are two intentional walks per game you’re talking about saving a total of 3-4 minutes. It’s not worth it. Leave it alone.

    • Junoir Blaber

      I guess but it seems a like a good idea to a pointless time consuming activity.

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