1. NFL Draft-Well, the most popular 3 days in the NFL has ended with all 32 teams adding to their rosters and I have to say, it was one of the more entertaining drafts that I’ve seen in years. It included Denver Broncos 1st round pick Garrett Boles bringing his infant son to the podium (precious) and Atlanta Falcons draft pick Takkarist McKinley expressing his love for his late grandmother and his promise that he would go to a Division 1 school.
  2. More on McKinley-I also liked that the young man also held a portrait of his grandmother as well, that was truly precious. His grandmother raised him so I can understand his emotions when he was selected. I didn’t like his profanity outburst, but I respected NFL Network’s Deion Sanders gently pulling him in and encouraging him to “Direct his emotions positively” That was good, because I remember Deion in the Prime-Time days…
  3. Draft Creativity-I also liked how on the 3rd day, the NFL allowed draft picks to get selected in different locations. Ex: Former Pittsburgh Steelers S Mike Logan announced the Steelers 6th round Pick at a youth community center in Pittsburgh. Picks were also announced from military bases to state landmarks and attractions to even outer space by current NFL players and legends, military personnel, actors, singers, and other special guests. New this year, Round 6 will be youth football-themed, and youth football players from Pop Warner, NFL FLAG. Very creative.
  4. Cleveland Browns-Apparently, the team who had the first overall draft pick stole the show at the NFL draft. The Browns who finished 1-15 last season made some huge first round moves by drafting Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett as the first pick and then grabbed Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan; (29) David Njoku, TE, Miami and in Round 2: (52) DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame. Impressive? Yes, but they have to prove it on the field and maybe the Browns will improve to 4-12.
  5. Steelers-and then there’s the local team who selected 8 players that included Houston DE JJ Watts brother (LB JT), a stud WR (JuJu Smith-Shuster), a cancer survivor (Pitt’s James Conner) and a Long Snapper (Colin Holba). I think the Steelers did well as they’re trying to get to Super Bowl 52 while continuing to fix that defense. Those young men have to prove themselves on the field as well.
  6. A Long Snapper though? Yes, that is what the Steelers chose to do in the 6th round (announced by Logan) It makes no sense to me why the Steelers would pick a player that most teams never draft and basically find by accident, but if they end up winning the Super Bowl this year, nobody will really care or remember the long snapper that was selected from Louisville.
  7. Steelers release QB Zach Metterberger- So long Mettenberger, we hardly knew you!” Because in reality, we hardly did. He was picked off waivers from San Diego and never played a down for the Steelers. And after the Steelers selected QB Joshua Dobbs in the 4th round, I guess that was the signature on Mettenberger’s walking papers. Go figure.
  8. Richard Sherman-Lost in the NFL Draft festivities was the fate of the Seattle Seahawks All-Pro CB as they were entertaining possible trade offers. But none have taken place and Sherman remains a Seahawk for now. In fact, HC Pete Carroll stated that there was ‘zero chance’ that Sherman will be dealt. But stay tuned, he still could get dealt in the summer..
  9. Former Bears QB Cutler auditions for TV role with Fox-Seriously, what is with these quarterbacks auditioning for media spots, and the networks taking them seriously?? First it was former Cowboys QB Tony Romo getting the #1 spot in CBS and now it’s Cutler, who not sure if he’s returning to football, auditioning for a spot with Fox. Not all athletes make good media persons (see: OJ Simpson and Eric Dickerson)
  10. Peterson ‘amped’ for season-opener vs. Vikings-I think New Orleans Saints Adrian Peterson will have a huge game against his former team, the Vikings, especially after they let him walk in Free Agency. Peterson himself said that it will be ‘revenge.’ But he also stated that it will be fun. I can’t wait to see it.
  11. NBA Playoffs-The Playoffs to continue and after seeing the 125-103 Cleveland Cavaliers rout of the Toronto Raptors, I have come to this conclusion: The Raptors have zero chance against the defending NBA champions. LeBron James and Co. are locked in like never before and they will probably steamroll through the rest of the Eastern Conference en route to the NBA Finals.
  12. Boston Celtics-If there was one team that could be a test for the Cavs, it would be the Celtics, led by NBA MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas. But I think the Cavs will beat them too as both teams will probably make the Eastern Conference Finals.
  13. NBA MVP-Usually, the NBA would announce who the winner of this award is this week, but since they’ve followed the NFL’s route by having an award show, we have to wait until June 26th to see OKC’s Russell Westbrook win that award. I’ll say it again, he deserves it this season. And so, what if his team is eliminated. The award is based on the regular season.
  14. Spurs Parker done for the playoffs with injury-It was sad to see the San Antonio Spurs veteran go down with a ruptured tendon in the Spurs 121-96 win over the Houston Rockets Wednesday night. Parker is done for the playoffs and I think he should call it a career. He was playing well for the Spurs (15.6 PPG in playoffs) his absence will hurt.
  15. Pirates lose 3 of 4 to Reds-For some reason, the Cincinnati Reds has the Pirates number in this young MLB season as they’ve won 6 of 7 against them, including 3 of 4 in the weekend series in Cincinnati. Once again, it’s a lack of consistency for the Pirates as they’re now 12-16 in last place in the NL Central Division.
  16. Pirates Outlook? Not a good one from where I’m sitting. I think this team is lost and are basically done for 2016. Struggling pitching, awful offense, and a suspended Starling Marte. It makes you wish they could just start 2017 over. But alas, they have 134 games left to play. Oh, what fun.
  17. Pirates P Nova wins NL Pitcher of the Month-And to think that folks criticized the Pirates for re-signing this dude. I was glad he stuck around, because Ivan Nova could’ve surely went somewhere else for much more money. Anyway, he was awarded the NL Pitcher of the Month for his outstanding April. Unfortunately, he couldn’t celebrate it much as he lost to the Reds on Thursday.
  18. Yankees Aaron Judge leads MLB in home runs-Here comes the Judge! Yep and he stands 6-7 and weighs 282 and is leading baseball with 13 home runs and is the youngest MLB player to do so after 26 games. The kids on pace to shatter some HR records if he keeps it up.
  19. Pitt Basketball gets St. John’s Transfer-After all the Pitt players who have left the basketball team in the past month, it’s truly good news to see one who wants to join the team as St. John’s G Mark (son of Pervis) Ellison. But HC Kevin Stallings will have to wait to see what Ellison can do as he has to wait a year to be eligible.
  20. Penguins bead Caps 3-2, lead 3-1-No Sidney Crosby, no problem as the Penguins proved they’re a veteran team as they beat the Washington Capitals and can close out the series Saturday with a win in DC. As for Crosby who missed the game after suffering a concussion in Game 4, he was practicing with the team Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned Saturday.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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