Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft
Start Time: Noon EST, ESPN
First up, we have our last football-like occurrence that's even vaguely related to the B1G. The second and third rounds featured a lot more of the conference's former standouts than I had assumed; here's your rundown of what went down yesterday:
-Penn State OT Donovan Smith, 2nd round to Tampa Bay
-Ohio State WR Devin Smith, 2nd round to New York Jets
-Michigan WR Devin Funchess, 2nd round to Carolina
-Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah, 2nd round to Detroit
-Minnesota TE Maxx Williams, 2nd round to Baltimore
-Wisconsin OT Rob Havenstein, 2nd round to St. Louis
-Nebraska DE/LB Randy Gregory, 2nd round to Dallas
-Michigan DE Frank Clark, 2nd round to Seattle
-Indiana RB Tevin Coleman, 3rd round to Atlanta
-Rutgers TE Tyler Kroft, 3rd round to Cincinnati
-Iowa DT Carl Davis, 3rd round to Baltimore
-Ohio State TE Jeff Heuerman, 3rd round to Denver
As a reminder, in the first round on Thursday, Iowa's Brandon Scherff went to Washington, Michigan State's Trae Waynes went to Minnesota, and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon went to San Diego.
Things that stand out to me: I was surprised that Clark and Havenstein went as high as they did. Clark has a history of legal problems that you'd think team execs would be a bit more sensitive to at this point. Havenstein, meanwhile, had trouble with pass protection at times in college, though his run-blocking chops are undeniable and St. Louis did just spend their first-round pick on Todd Gurley so one assumes giving him the ball will be a priority. Also, you have to love Jeff Heuerman's good fortune in getting to sit in the dojo of Peyton Manning for the start of his pro career.
Something else which I assume is a coincidence is that the B1G's draftees are well-dispersed. Of the 15 conference players taken so far, only one team- Baltimore- took two of them, unless the lateness of the hour is impairing my reading skills.
Looking forward to today's picks, the B1G will have plenty more guys selected. I'm not even going to venture guesses at when or where, and a trend I've noticed over the last few years is teams will spend late-round picks on random guys from some school you've never heard of in an attempt to outsmart everyone, but reasonably, these guys all have a good shot to go:
-Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
-Michigan LB Jake Ryan
-Ohio State DT Michael Bennett
-Penn State DE Deion Barnes
-Michigan State WR Tony Lippett
-Northwestern S Ibraheim Campbell
-Minnesota RB David Cobb
-Ohio State CB Doran Grant
-Maryland WR Stefon Diggs
-Penn State TE Jesse James
-Minnesota LB Damien Wilson
-Purdue DE Ryan Russell
-Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
I doubt they all get drafted, unfortunately. Every year, plenty of talented, accomplished players don't make it into the field of 256. There could also be a player or two I'm not expecting who does get selected.
The 141st Running of the Kentucky Derby
Approx. 6:24 EST, NBC
Approximate Length of Coverage: 7 1/2 hours
Approximate Length of Actual Race: 2 minutes and change
I ain't much of a racing guy; I don't gamble, I don't like mint juleps much (give me a mojito and maybe it's a different story). I generally tune in to the Triple Crown races because, hey, it'd be kind of cool if a horse were to win all three while I was watching, but that's about as invested as I get. And there's no denying the Kentucky Derby is a major event, and sometimes there's a backstory behind the winner like 'Superlonghorsenamewhichisallonewordwithoutspaces' owner won the horse in a back-alley game of Yahtzee with the kitchen staff at a Cambodian restaurant in London, and from there, the rest is history.'
My preface for including this event in our Saturday smorgasboard of stuff for you to talk about is, of course, the fact that this race is the Run for the Roses. This makes it relevant to our interests, regardless of how sour Nebraska fans' grapes are.
When betting lines opened, American Pharoah was the favorite at 5-2. I don't know if that's likely to remain the case, or what to do with that information.
10:30* PM EST, PPV joint broadcast of HBO and Showtime
Value of title belt: Approximately $1 million (no, really)
Number of Filipinos who will be watching: Enough of them to cause projected blackouts due to the increased electricity demand for TVs in the Philippines
*10:30 PM having, here, the meaning of midnightish
Here, also, I must rely on reports of others, for I have very little interest in boxing in the abstract. I'm told this should be the biggest fight since Tyson-Lewis. I'm also told it should have happened 5 or 6 years ago, but that both sides dodged each other for the most ridiculous of reasons. I'm told that while those delays happened, both fighters have slipped past their prime, especially Pacquiao, who endured some nasty bouts in the last couple of years.
And then there's Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s history of domestic abuse. Sports media's handling of the issue has been schizophrenic, alternating between damning exposes and flattering biopic pieces on Mayweather, but there's no way to deny that the boxing authorities (if you can even call them that) have bent over backwards to hide and ignore this issue. In a world where a competing body like the UFC took quick and decisive action against Jon Jones for his hit-and-run car accident, it's hard to feel comfortable supporting boxing knowing Mayweather faces no repercussions for his repeated violence against women.
All of which is simply my opinion, of course. This is undoubtedly an enormous sporting event, so if you want to know more about it, or any boxing or UFC event, you should consult Bloody Elbow, the SBN platform for MMA and UFC coverage.