So Close, Joel

So Close, Joel

Matt Trombley, Blake Wynveen
Daily Newsletters
The Sideline Sprint logo.
Good morning. The Chiefs’ Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu has rewatched Super Bowl LV five times to motivate himself for this season. I, on the other hand, burnt my toast this morning.
- Blake
In today's Sprint:
🏈  NFL draft (p)review
🏀  In and out
📺  A+ marketing
Trivia: What team had the NFL’s top ranked offense and defense, but managed to miss the playoffs in 2010?
  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. San Diego Chargers
  4. New York Jets

Draft Day
With one week until the NFL draft, Pro Days have wrapped up, big boards are set, and rumors are flying around the league.
Draft details:
  • Thursday, April 29th
  • 7 rounds
  • 259 picks total
  • Hosted in Cleveland, Ohio
And we’re promised a healthy dose of Roger Goodell booing as fans will be packing the stands. Last year, he managed to earn some boos even during a virtual draft.
The quarterbacks (arguably the hardest position in the draft to evaluate) will once again be the stars of the show. But, teams should beware of reaching. Just ask the Bears (Mitch Trubisky) or Cardinals (Josh Rosen).
Five quarterbacks should hear their names called on night one.
  • Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  • Zach Wilson, BYU
  • Justin Fields, Ohio State
  • Trey Lance, North Dakota State
  • Mac Jones, Alabama
For every swing and miss, there's also a late round gem. Several notable Hall of Famers (or those who will soon be there) have either been drafted in the last couple rounds or not drafted at all.
  • Tom Brady - 6th round
  • Warren Moon - undrafted
  • Kurt Warner - undrafted
Trip down memory lane
Regardless of what happens to your team on draft day, it’s unlikely they repeat some of the funniest moments in draft history.
  • Deja vu: Washington really wanted running back Calvin “Cal” Rossi in the 1940’s. They wanted him so badly they drafted him with their first round pick… twice. Ironically, Rossi told the team he didn’t want to play in the NFL and never played a snap in the league.
  • Howdy, partner: Back in 1972 the Falcons selected John Wayne. Yes, that John Wayne. He might have had a tough time on the field considering he was 64.
  • New phone who dis: The Cleveland Browns drafted in classic Browns’ style by calling the wrong player on draft day in 2011, dialing Cameron Jordan instead of Jordan Cameron.
Big picture: Draft night is make or break, especially for teams with top picks. Find this year’s Justin Herbert, and you’re set for years to come. Miss, and you’ll be in the same spot next year.

Don't Call It a Comeback
(22-20-5) Chicago Blackhawks 5 vs. (25-21-2) Nashville Predators 4 - OT
  • The Blackhawks decided not to play until the 3rd period, but then scored 3 goals in 3 minutes to erase a 4-1 deficit. It’s the second time ever the Hawks trailed by 3+ goals with under 10 minutes to play and won the game.
(42-16) Phoenix Suns 116 vs. (39-19) Philadelphia 76ers 113
  • Joel Embiid came this close to tying the game on a one hand, full court heave with the clock expiring.
(33-27) New York Knicks 137 vs. (32-27) Atlanta Hawks 127 - OT
  • Julius Randle (40 pts, 11 reb, 6 ast) announced the Knicks return to the big stage, telling the Madison Square Garden crown, "New York, we here!"
(25-34) Toronto Raptors 114 vs. (39-20) Brooklyn Nets 103
  • Even Kyrie’s big game (28 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast) couldn’t beat the Raptors as both Pascal Siakam (27 pts, 9 reb) and OG Anunoby (25 pts) looked like the 2020 versions of themselves.
(12-7) Oakland A’s 13 vs. (6-11) Minnesota Twins 12 - 10 innings
  • The A’s scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to win their 11th straight game. They may never lose again.
(9-10) Texas Rangers 7 vs. (9-7) LA Angels 4
Premier League
(53 pts) Tottenham 2 vs. (36 pts) Southampton 1
  • After firing manager Jose Mourinho, Tottenham hired youngster (29 years old) Ryan Mason to replace him. So far, so good.
(77 pts) Manchester City 2 vs. (44 pts) Aston Villa 1
  • Villa scored after just 21 seconds and then seemed to disappear from the pitch, letting City control the shots and possession.

🏈  The NFL approved a number of rule changes, including one making onside kicks easier to recover and another loosening the restrictions on which positions can wear what numbers. We’d love to see linemen rocking single-digit numbers.
🏀  Rockets’ rookie Kevin Porter Jr. may have saved his teammate Sterling Brown’s life by intervening in a fight at a Miami club. He’ll miss the next few days due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
📺  Heineken capitalized on the Super League’s collapse with this brilliant ad trolling the 12 founding clubs.

Stat: In his 14 years as a head coach for the Raiders and Bucs (seven seasons each), Jon Gruden is 57-55 with each team.
Quote: “The Super League project is now on standby, I can confirm.” - Real Madrid president and chairman of the Super League, Florentino Perez.
Highlight: This 70-year-old man flipped a swing, something none of us have done since we were seven.

Philadelphia 76ers (39-19) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (35-22) - 7:00 ET on TNT
LA Lakers (35-23) vs. Dallas Mavericks (31-26) - time ET on TNT
New York Mets (7-6) vs. Chicago Cubs (8-9) - 7:40 ET on ESPN+
San Diego Padres (10-10) vs. LA Dodgers (14-4) - 10:10 ET
Carolina Hurricanes (30-10-5) vs. Florida Panthers (30-12-5) - 7:00 ET on ESPN+
Philadelphia Flyers (20-18-7) vs. New York Panthers (23-17-6) - 7:00 ET on ESPN+

C. While their offense and defense were terrific, the Chargers couldn’t overcome a 2-5 start. This was partially due to their special teams group, which was one of the worst groups in recorded history, allowing four blocked punts and four total kickoff/punt returns for touchdowns.

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