Whenever you move, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of inventory, but this isn’t a housing column.
It’s time to resurrect an old game that Bryson Lester and I (Josh Martinez) used to play when we hosted our sports talk show on Thunder 91.1 in Cedar City: Garage Sale. Bryson and I are going to do things a little bit differently as we will take our game to print.
Here’s how it’ll go: I present something I’ve got up for sale, which is something I’m not happy with and ready to get rid of, and Bryson will say if he wants to buy it or not. Let’s get to it.
Brad Guzan: I’ll get a lot of flack for this one but this comes down to three words that seems to determine a lot in sports: the eye test. Stats-wise, Guzan plays well, he’s younger than both Tim Howard and Nick Rimando but I just like Howard more, especially during the Copa America. I think Argentina would have defeated the U.S. in the semifinal game but I think the defense would have been a bit more organized. Guzan has some good minutes and filled Howard’s shoes well during his sabbatical but after a performance where Howard single-handedly kept the stars and stripes in contention against Belgium in the Round of 16 in 2014 but I would like the veteranship of Tim Howard. For this reason, Brad Guzan is for sale.
Bryson Lester: Nope, I’m good. I’m with you. When Tim Howard is in goal I feel like the team has a larger amount of swagger and attitude, and this is something the United States desperately need. We’re not naive enough as fans of the United States to think that we’re as gifted soccer wise as all of these other countries, but when we can act like we’re just as good as them it’s a big step to make confidence wise. I’d like to see Howard in goal as well.
Philadelphia 76ers: Every one tabs the Cleveland Browns as the most dysfunctional franchise in sports but I believe that title belongs to the Philadelphia 76ers. Yes, they picked up Ben Simmons, but they seem to show no sense of improvement. They’ve had a lottery pick for the past four seasons and haven’t seen to make them count. Take a look at how the Minnesota Timberwolves have improved in with their four consecutive lottery picks and they seem to have a bright future. The Sixers? Not so much. I don’t even think Ben Simmons is their savior. He’s got his own issues to work through.
BL: I’ll give you a couple bucks for the Sixers. But I might have buyers remorse even after that. I do like Ben Simmons, but I really didn’t think he was the best player in the draft. I was a big fan of Brandon Ingram. On paper they have three really good bigs, but they show no signs of being able to play together and we don’t know when poor Joel Embiid will be able to see the floor. They will be better, they can’t really be much worse, but any improvement would be a sight for sore eyes for all NBA fans.
NHL: There was so much hype around the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas and the NFL making history by being the first major sports team in Las Vegas. There were rumors of the NHL looking to grant an expansion team to Sin City. However, all eyes were on the NFL. The NHL has stolen that thunder as they have announced the 31st team in the NHL will play under the lights of the Las Vegas Strip at the T-Mobile Arena. While this is more of a joke sale than anything (because who would dare rob the almighty NFL of its precious attention?) the NHL still is up for sale.
BL: Any pro sports franchise that ends up in Las Vegas I will be all in on. As a native of Salt Lake, I really only grew up with one professional franchise (unless you count AAA Baseball and Arena Football). So the idea of having all of these teams so close to home sounds amazing to me. I’ll buy anything in Vegas you throw at me. I’m so ready to be a Raiders fan.
Cristiano Ronaldo: It’s funny. I used to be a big Ronaldo fan, especially when it came to him and Lionel Messi. However, these two regional tournaments (Copa America and UEFA Euro) have changed my mind significantly. From Ronaldo throwing that reporters microphone into that lake and his party-pooping remarks of Iceland celebrating their draw against Portugal, Messi was much classier throughout the tournament. Sure, he pouted after the Copa America Final lost to Chile, but wouldn’t you? Messi missed a crucial PK during the shootout (although, my opinion of Messi might change given his recent statements about retirement from the national team.) I don’t see an excuse for Ronaldo. I’ve got one word for you mi amigo: NEXT!
BL: I have the utmost respect for Ronaldo on the pitch. That being said, the last couple weeks have been pretty damning for him in the eyes of the media. He’s one of the most influential athletes in the world, and he can’t be acting like that. If American gave a damn about soccer, that would have been a gigantic story. Could you imagine if LeBron threw a reports mic in the water!? Twitter would need 20 more serves just to handle all of the hate being tweeted his way. Clean up you act Cristiano, you’re better than that.
Arizona Heat: No, this is not a new sports team in the Phoenix area, it is literally the heat of Phoenix. I have been in the Phoenix Metro area for about a month now and man has it been hot. Last week, temperatures were well over 100 degrees, with it peaking in between 110 and 120. This upcoming week? Temperatures are set to reach the mid to high 100s. All the more cause to stay indoors.
BL: Yeah dude, I’m good. It got over 90 degrees in Cedar City last week and I thought I was going to melt. I couldn’t handle those Arizona temps, but you have fun hanging out with all those lizards and cacti. I don’t want any part of that heat homie.