"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Monday, April 25, 2016

NBA AND NHL PLAYOFFS, THE NFL'S EAGLES PAYING FOR TRADING UP AND 2 1/2 INCHES OF CONTROVERSY

Capitals Take Care of the Flyers: As a Washington Capitals fan, I breathed a big sigh of relief as they finished off a 4 - 2 series win by holding on and eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 1 - 0. The Capitals, who came into league in 1974, have never won the Stanley Cup and only have a single appearance in the Finals in their 42 year history. They have blown five 3 - 1 leads in playoff series, so it wasn't out of the realm of possibility that the Flyers would score a late goal in regulation and then force a game seven by winning in overtime. What made the win even better for the Capitals was that they were forced to fend off a two minute five players on three power play after a high-sticking penalty was called even though it was obvious by all that were watching that the Flyers' player was hit with a stick of one of his teammates. Next up for the Caps is the Pittsburgh Penguins, another matchup between the Caps' Alex Ovechkin and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby. If it wasn't the NHL, we'd probably be thinking that the series winner would be a shoe-in for the Finals. It looks like a couple of more weeks of elevated blood pressure readings.

Steph Curry Out Two Weeks...At Least: It probably won't make much difference in the current series between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, but 2015 MVP Steph Curry of the Warriors is sidelined for a minimum of two weeks with a sprained MCL. With the Clippers and probably the Spurs, or even the Thunder looming, this can't be good news for the Warriors. Injuries are part of the game, but there is no player more valuable to their team than Curry, except possibly Lebron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. His three-point prowess and passing ability make him almost impossible to replace. For a team with 73 regular season wins and a 3 - 1 series advantage over the Rockets, perhaps they'll have time to adapt to his absence. I wasn't particularly optimistic about the Warriors repeating even with Curry in the lineup, so this is probably a pretty big blow to their chances. Curry was already nursing a bum ankle, so his injury issues could definitely linger even if he makes it back and Golden State advances to the conference finals. It's too bad if he is diminished, because I would love to see a healthy Cavalier squad try to change the outcome they experienced last year in the Finals against the Warriors.

Sam Bradford Asks to be Traded: The Philadelphia Eagles traded up in this week's NFL draft, giving up a king's ransom, presumably to draft a quarterback. The only problem is, if you're Sam Bradford and were expecting to be the starting signal caller, you might feel a bit disrespected by the entire affair. Well, Bradford confirmed that today by declining to participate in offseason workouts and asking to be traded. Really? Who does this guy think he is, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers? He can barely stay healthy for consecutive offensive series, much less make demands. He's getting paid $36 million for two years, with $22 million guaranteed. He's never led a team to the playoffs and is still reaping the benefits of a long-ago Heisman Trophy and solid rookie season. Is he insane? How many sucker general managers does he believe there are in the NFL? I mean really, what team is going to eat that contract for an oft-injured, inconsistent, barely pro  caliber quarterback? He's thrown 78 TD passes and 51 interceptions with a 60% completion percentage and 6.4 yards per attempt for his career. Just because his ego was stroked with a misguided, overblown contract with the Eagles doesn't change who he is and what he is. I say he needs to shut up, get to practice and cash his checks. Oh, and he'll probably want to put most of it in the bank, because there's a good chance it's his last contract unless he can start winning football games.

Advertising Patch Kids: The National Basketball Association recently announced that they would be selling a 2 1/2 square inch  patch on players' uniforms to prospective advertisers. Why wouldn't they? FIFA, the ruling body of soccer, sells not just jerseys, but entire franchises to commercial interests. The NFL sells every right from soft drinks, to beer, to rental cars, to shoes, well, you get the picture. But the NBA is catching all sorts of push back on the uniform patch. It's totally ridiculous that the media and fans are even paying attention to this development. However, since it seems to be such a big deal, I'll chime in. First of all, the job of any commissioner is to increase the value of the league, including what the individual franchises are worth. How many of you actually watch commercials during a game broadcast? My guess is not a lot. Most of you probably DVR every game and fast forward through every ad. So with diminished viewing of commercials, why wouldn't the league and advertisers look for ways to get their message across that isn't bypassed by viewers? Are fans actually going to stop watching the games because there's a small patch of advertising on the jerseys? No chance.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first two, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel" and "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and SmashwordsTune into www.WPFLRADIO.com at 8:40 am EST every Friday for my Beyond the Commentary segment on "Lou in the Morning" with Lou Vickery and Jonathan McMath.