Jim Caldwell, USA Hockey and Greedy Nike

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EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – My compliance lasted 1 week. I went to bed and thought no Mini-Matt text, so I must be good. Got the text this morning, going “Guy! Guy?!” So guess what? I am back… A little hungover and a lot tired but let’s get to it. We will use my tried-and-true formula of a Song of the Week, followed by Sports Stuff. Today’s menu:  Jim Caldwell, USA Hockey & Greedy Nike.

Song of the Week: I picked the O’Jays last week and I think I am going back to that well. “Why,” you may ask? It’s because I like them… and they have some big hits.  So, the song of the week goes to The O’Jays; “Back Stabbers.” It is a very real song and we have all had to deal with backstabbers, so it feels like a true story.

Jim Caldwell:  Jim Caldwell is but one of the few branches sprouting from the Tony Dungy coaching tree. Like Dungy, he is viewed as a coach that really works on mentoring and being a father to their players. It is a strange thing for players to come across a coach that will discuss their business plan for their company, life after football and show them how to tweak it. Or a coach you can have a heart to heart with regarding the whirlwind of emotions being a first-time dad. The reason the spotlight is on Caldwell is because lack (or as I prefer Bloody Monday) is around the corner. That is the Monday after final regular season game; when GMs and coaches get fired.

Anyway, Caldwell’s Detroit Lions are 35-28 in the regular season under his watch. But they are 0-2 in the playoffs and despite a season where Green Bay lost Aaron Rodgers and Minnesota had to rely on their 3rd string QB, the Lions missed the playoffs. So if Caldwell gets the chop (Grinding Ax Walt will like that), he will be another good guy that has lost. But let’s not forget that Caldwell is a pro and after he was unjustly fired by Indianapolis, landed in Detroit and made them better. Also, let’s not forget that his GM hasn’t given him 1,000-yard running back his whole time there. My hope is that he stays.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

USA Hockey: There was a time when there were more American Teams in the NHL than American Players. Those days are long gone. The sport has never looked better with league flushed with American players, youth numbers steady or raising, the USA women are doing well and even the NHL’s new team in Vegas is not a disaster. Just to make things sweeter in the USA is hosting the World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, NY – which neighbors my Niagara Falls.  In their first game, the Americans erased 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Canadians 4-3  in a shootout in snowy conditions at the first outdoor game in world junior championships history.

Greedy Nike: Not satisfied with ruining the NFL with its Rush Jersey nonsense on Thursdays, Nike is back for more cash. This time they are using NBA fans and have released the NBA City Edition uniforms. They see gold in them thar hills and must mine every cent from every hoops/sucker they can find. I ain’t gonna give them a dime.

That is it for now, leave your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for another gem of a column by Cheesy Bruin. You can also find us on Twitter – @JunoirBlaber, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram – @MeetTheMatts – and Facebook Meet 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

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