Thinking out loud: Tuukka Rask thoughts

Tuukka Rask
Photo credit USA Today Sports
Thinking out loud…while wondering if true privacy is a thing of the past?

  • God love ya’.  Hey Mike Milbury, you don’t like disruptions…from women?  Think you might have some disruptions now.

 

  • Tuukka Rask, the great enigma.  But not really.

 

  • He’s always seemed a bit odd, and that’s not a bad thing.  But kinda the guy that marches to his own drumbeat who doesn’t care that you can’t keep up.  And he’s certainly beaten his drum this past week.

 

  • It’s hard to find fault with anyone who prioritizes family.  Would it help if we knew his deal?  Perhaps, but just because he’s well-compensated doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to privacy.

 

  • The trouble here is…Tuukka is in Boston, which has never screamed tolerance or patience when it comes to its’ pro athletes.  Especially during a postseason.

 

  • Just a guess – but unless he returns to the team before the Bruins are either eliminated or they win the Cup – the team decides to move on.  And moves him, with a year left on his contract…unless he retires first.

 

  • Which might be his best save yet.

 

  • Not for nuthin’, but the Carolina series – and maybe the entire postseason – changed completely once Charlie McAvoy leveled Jordan Staal in Game Four.  The next five minutes of hockey were some of the best, ever.  For Boston, that is.

 

  • Former Hockey Friar captain Brian Pinho made his NHL debut in the playoffs for the Washington Capitals.  @MarkDivver sez he’s now the 8th player from the 2015 Natty to reach the bigs.

 

  • Tweet of the Week I, from @MarkDanielsPJ: “My opinion, based on one practice where the emphasis was on the run game, is that the QB job is Jarrett Stidham’s to lose. I have the right to change my opinion tomorrow.”

 

  • Tomorrow is already here, methinks.

 

  • Stidham vs. Newton vs. Hoyer?  If you go by what the Pats are thinking depth-chart wise, it’s Brian Hoyer, based on his Patriots Monday appearance on The Greg Hill Show in TB12’s former time slot.

 

  • The coaches also have the right to change their opinion tomorrow.

 

  • And Cam Newton may/may not yet be #1 on the depth chart, but he is #1 in viewership on his YouTube channel among NFLers.  456K subscribers, and 1.8 million + views alone on his video as he departed Carolina for New England.

 

  • Kyle Dugger can play.  Lenoir-Rhyne?  Division II?  He’s looked pretty good out there this week, from all accounts.  And he’ll be counted on, too.

 

  • This from Chase Winovich, when asked what he needs to improve upon this year: “I don’t want to get too specific because that would help my enemies.”  Love it.

 

  • So, no fans at Gillette, at least in September for the two home games.  Sure, cancel the warm weather opportunities and let ‘em in when there’s snow, ice and freezing temps out there. 

 

  • Did you see where ex-Patriot receiver Chris Hogan signed with the J-E-T-S?  That means Hogan has now played for every team in the AFC East division.

 

  • But the J-E-T-S?  It must be a “Last Tango in Paris” thing, except that it’s in New York.

 

  • Tweet of the Week II, from @AdamZagoria: “Clint Frazier is 7-of-11 with 7 RBIs this weekend – all while wearing a mask. You can wear one into Wal-Mart or Trader Joe’s.”

 

  • No fans will be allowed at Fenway this year, either.  And why would you go anyway?  Think of this as a public service.

 

  • Sam Kennedy says no player is untouchable. But trade Xander Bogaerts?

 

  • Letting Mookie Betts tra-la-la to LA is one thing…because now suddenly, you’re money-conscious.  But trading your organizations’ best player for comparative flotsam and jetsam?

 

  • Kiss a big chunk of your base goodbye.  They’re already unwatchable as is.  Imagine unwatchable without Bogaerts.

 

  • Had a guy tell me he could care less.  “This ownership group has won four World Series trophies” in the new millennium, and he’s happy.  So, let’s all quit right now, jump off the roller coaster of life and stop the madness.

 

  • Chaim Bloom must be getting paid a lot of money to be the hatchet man, overseeing this mess.  Hope he knows his baseball reputation is shriveling up like grapes in the ocean.

 

  • Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit a granny on a 3-0 pitch.  So what?  That violated an ‘unwritten rule’ of what, rubbing it in?  Pitch better.

 

  • If you’re grooving one on 3-and-0, I don’t care if I’m up seven runs.  Especially in a shortened season like this one.  C’mon, man. 

 

  • What else about baseball’s “unwritten rules” do we like or not like? 

 

  • Like: Defending my teammates if someone gets plunked, with intent. 

 

  • Dislike:  Defending your teammates if someone gets plunked, with intent.

 

  • But the one thing baseball may be getting right is the move toward a two-city, postseason bubble similar to what the NHL presently has.  MLB has the majority of its season revenue tied to playoff media rights.

 

  • So there had best be a postseason.  For someone, ‘cuz one ain’t happenin’ around here.  Just sayin’.

 

  • May not be a postseason – or a career – left for Cincinnati Reds’ broadcaster Thom Brenneman, either. Way back in Broadcasting 101, we learned ALL microphones should be treated as live, whether they are or aren’t.  Brenneman, sadly, forgot that Wednesday night.

 

  • My buddy “Big E” sez on his first post-pandemic trip back to church, the minister told the congregation he wanted to speak up on the sin of lying.  He told everyone to read Mark:17 in the Bible. 

 

  • The next week, the minister asked if everyone had read Mark:17.  All hands went up, all heads nodded in approval.  The minister smiled and said, “Mark only has 16 chapters.”

 

  • Best sermon – and the shortest – he’s ever heard.

 

  • The Celtics’ postseason has exceeded expectations so far.  My expectations, at least.  And the 76ers have not met expectations, either.  They mix about as well as oil and water mix.

 

  • Gordon Hayward’s ankle turn looked ugly.  Also painful.  Guy can’t catch a break.  And neither can the Celtics’ depth. 

 

  • Maybe we should all pay attention?  The NBA is at the forefront of a new Covid test developed by Yale, one that is saliva-based, inexpensive ($4 to $10) and with a quick turnaround for results (three-to-five hours).

 

  • It could be a game-changer.  Not just in sports, either…but especially for all schools opening up and having to shut it down again (North Carolina, hello!) because kids are…just gonna be kids.

 

  • Anyone else notice the irony in Tuscaloosa, Alabama this week?  This country is in the shape it’s in partially due to the attitudes popularized in places like Tuscaloosa.  And what do the students do when they report back to campus, with football (for now) gifted back to them?

 

  • They party.  Stand in long lines.  Go to bars.  Refuse to wear masks.  See, here’s the thing – at some point, we all have to grow up.  For some, childhood gets cut short.  Life sucks.

 

  • And in the words of a famous faux-Alabaman: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

 

  • Mistakes get made.  We’re all human.  And some are more human than others, especially in places like Alabama.

 

  • And in Connecticut, too…especially those students hosting a dorm room party who have now been kicked out of their campus housing.  Social distancing?  Face masks?  Nil.  Purdue has suspended students for not following rules.  Holy Cross also had some party issues this week.

 

  • These stories will keep coming.  It’s why we can’t have nice things.  Or, get back to ‘normal’ anytime soon.

 

  • I remember almost getting booted from my dorm for spraying the next-door dormitory denizens with a hallway fire hose from my window.  Don’t judge, it was 105 degrees outside.  It was a public service.  The guys that got wet just didn’t know that at the time.

 

  • What happened to those days?

 

  • One thing that would truly amaze me – if the Big 10 never actually voted on pushing football to spring.  It was just a consensus call by school presidents to lord over their sheep?

 

  • With the ACC (including BC), the Big 12 and SEC marching on, the Big 10 and Pac-12 stand to take quite a hit off the field, within recruiting circles as well as within public perception. 

 

  • Maybe they can pacify themselves with the cash they’re raking in…wait, wut?  You mean we have to actually play the sport to get our money? 

 

  • Ohio State QB Justin Fields’ petition to play has almost a quarter of a million signatures on it.  Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren basically squashed it.  This won’t play out well.

 

  • At last count, 76 FBS teams out of 130 are still planning to play.  The Big 10 and Pac-12 will have a large case of agita by, oh, mid-October.

 

  • And there are 82 available bowl slots this year, too.  The Mayo Bowl, Cheez-It Bowl and Idaho Potato Bowl could always use a boost.  Or a menu.

 

  • Within the Group of 5 FBS conferences, it may be more expensive to play this fall than simply shutting it down.  Why play, then? 

 

  • Exposure, if not revenue, for the schools.  And the athletes.  And the chance to stick it in the face of two Power Five leagues who may (or may not) have jumped the shark.

 

  • That’s a Happy Days reference for you kids scratching your heads on that one.  Google it.

 

  • The revenue losses for major schools not playing football is staggering.  Iowa, for instance, claims it will lose $100 million in revenue with an overall athletic budget deficit of between $60 and $75 million.

 

  • In the Big 10 alone, nearly $1 billion in total revenue could be lost.  Ohio State tops the list at a potential loss of $104 million, Rutgers represents the basement at $49 million. 

 

  • Get ready for the pink-slip parade to pick up the pace at schools across the country, inside and outside of athletic departments. 

 

  • Not that anyone will cry for them, but Nike, Under Armour and Adidas stand to be some of the hardest hit companies by college postponements and cancellations.  It’s why you’re seeing these companies try to wiggle out of big-bucks deals at some schools.

 

  • It will be happening at collegiate marketing companies too, like Learfield-IMG College – which represents PC, URI and Brown.  Guaranteed payments to schools are shriveling up faster than, well, you read it above.

 

  • My buddy Bobby messaged me this week to say, “They’re playing high school football in Ohio, but not in the Big 10!”  Yeah, sorta think some scholarly folks didn’t quite complete their research.

 

  • College football’s pain stands to be the NFL’s gain. The league generated $3.3 billion in ad revenue last year, another $1.3 billion in the postseason.  The NBA, NHL and MLS combined for $2 billion in national ad revenue. 

 

  • College football had $1.7 billion.  The NFL stands to catch a good portion of that windfall. 

 

  • The high school athletic governing bodies for Rhode Island (RIIL), Massachusetts (MIAA) and Connecticut (CIAC) to varying degrees have decided on split seasons for their school years. 

 

  • No one is playing football in the fall.  Connecticut might play some football.  But they’re presently in a two-week delay-of-game penalty.

 

  • RI and Mass are pushing football and other high-risk sports that cannot be modified for health reasons to the spring.  The sports seasons for 2020-21 will be 1) Fall sports 2) Winter sports 3) Fall sports II (football is here) 4) Spring sports. 

 

  • Got it?  Hey, at least they’re out there pitchin,’ in-season or not.

 

  • Have you seen that anyone can buy land on the Moon?  Or on Mars? 

 

  • The pitch I got from BuyMars.com: ”Natural Rights (also called basic rights or fundamental rights) state that everyone has a right to life, liberty and property. These rights belong to you merely for being a human being. It is because of these rights that we will be able to be one of the new colonies in space and will set up a new government.”

 

  • Getting there to cash in and claim your land rights might be a bit problematic, unless you plan on living for another 100 years or so.  And maybe building your own rocket. 

 

  • We’ll literally do anything to make a buck, amiright?  Why didn’t I think of teaming up with a Martian to sell real estate?  Dammit.

 

  • Look at it this way.  Whoopi Goldberg and all those other celebs who say they’re leaving the country?  Great.  Now they have some place to go. 

 

  • My buddy Edward in E. Providence probably knows this, but nine of the top 10 paid female athletes in 2020 are tennis players.  Soccer player Alex Morgan is the lone non-tennis athlete.

 

  • ICYMI, the Naismith Hall of Fame has rescheduled their 2020 inductions, which include Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Bentley’s Barbara Stevens, for May of 2021.

 

  • Speaking of Bentley, Vaughn Williams was named athletic director this week after serving as a senior associate AD at Boston College.  Williams had served as AD at Kennesaw State in Georgia, where he hired Al Skinner to revive his basketball program before Skinner retired.

 

  • Ed Cooley is champing at the bit, ready for the Friars to return to campus and practice.  And while the team is back – some in quarantine because of travel restrictions – practicing won’t start for a couple of weeks.  The team hasn’t been together in-person since March 11th in New York.

 

  • No word yet on Syracuse transfer Brycen Goodine’s waiver to play this season.  But based on others receiving NCAA waivers to play right away, it certainly looks good.

 

  • Both Mitchell twins are in at URI, and so is Jalen Carey, a 6-3 redshirt sophomore also from Syracuse.  Those three additions are huge for Rhody’s depth and talent level next season.

 

  • Just perusing and noticed eight of the Top 28 recruiting classes for 2021, according to 247sports, happen to be Big East programs.  Providence is not one of them, yet.  Neither are Creighton or St. John’s.

 

  • The Big East announced league membership was unanimous in their decision to wear a “BLM” patch on their men’s and women’s basketball uniforms next season.  As you are no doubt aware, the Big East has long had strong black representation – including prominent influence and guidance from PC alum and Georgetown HOF coach John Thompson.

 

  • The NCAA Division I Council has recommended college athletes who play fall sports – including football players – be given a free year of eligibility no matter how many games they play over the next 10 months.  It’s the right move, from an organization known for a ton of wrong ones.

 

  • Doug Gottlieb is r-r-r-right?  Hard to believe, but my one-time ESPN Radio co-host nailed a couple of things in the past week on Fox – 1) colleges and student-athletes CAN do bubbles, they basically do them already during tournaments and many already take online classes; 2) the ‘no classes, no sports’ idea is dumb.  Student athletes are safer as they’re managed and cared for by their school athletic departments.

 

  • Have you seen those new, transparent public toilets in Tokyo?  The ones that light up like Christmas trees with see-through doors and windows that become opaque when you go inside?  Apparently, they’re emphasizing cleanliness that you can ‘see.’

 

  • Wondering how much else you can ‘see?’  Um, no thanks.

 

  • Interested in having your questions on local Rhode Island sports (and yes, that includes the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics) answered in a somewhat timely fashion? Send ‘em to me! It’s your chance to “think out loud,” so send your questions, comments and local stories to jrooke@weei.com. We’ll share mailbag comments/Facebook posts/Tweets right here!  Would appreciate the follow on Twitter, @JRbroadcaster…and join in on Facebook, www.facebook.com/john.rooke ...

 

Don’t forget to tune into Providence’s 103.7 FM, every Saturday from 7:00-9:00 am for Cordischi and Coit!  Call in at 401-737-1287 or text at 37937.