With the Super Bowl upon us, you’ve probably heard something about various prop bets being offered by Las Vegas regarding the big game.
You can bet on things such as: Who will score the first touchdown? Who will win the coin toss? How many times will Tony Romo say "Here we go"?
The oddsmakers will come up with a new batch of prop bets when the NFL draft rolls around this spring and this is one you might see: Which Iowa tight end will be selected first?
At this point, it appears to be a push. Looking at all the various mock drafts that are online right now, there isn’t a real consensus as to who the pros like better between T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has Hockenson going to Oakland with the 27th pick. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports and Dan Kadar of SBNation.com have him being picked by Green Bay very late in the first round and Draftblaster.com projects him to be selected by New England with the 31st pick.
Meanwhile, Draftsite.com has Fant going to Seattle with the 21st pick, by Seattle, USAToday and TheSportsBank.net both project him to be picked by Green Bay at No. 30 and Walterfootball.com has him being chosen 31st by New England.
Those that don’t have Fant and Hockenson in the first round generally have them slotted in the upper half of the second round with the most interested teams being Arizona at No. 33, Jacksonville at No. 38, Detroit at No. 43 and Green Bay at No. 44.
It seems a good bet that at least one of them is going to end up in either Green Bay or New England.
If the mock drafts are any indication, this draft should be of especially high interest in the state of Iowa.
In addition to Fant and Hockenson, you can find predictions that Iowa’s Amani Hooker and Iowa State’s David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler will be picked as high as the second round with Iowa defensive end Anthony Nelson projected to go as early as the third round.
It doesn’t sound as though two-time Quad-City Times Bix 7 champion Meb Keflezighi is going to come out of retirement to run in the 2020 Olympics.
But the 44-year-old distance running icon admitted in a San Diego Tribune column by Bryce Miller that he at least thought about it.
Meb, who was inducted into San Diego’s Breitbard Hall of Fame last week, admitted it would take an awful lot for him to get back into world class condition. He has been doing some things that aren’t exactly conducive to marathon training lately. Among other things, he visited the world famous Oktoberfest in Munich and drank beer out of a stein the size of a fire hydrant.
Former Cubs relief pitcher Justin Wilson recently signed a 2-year, $10 million contract with the Mets but told reporters he was upset that more free agents are not being signed. He feels it’s because the owners are more interested in making money than winning.
Let’s remember that baseball franchises are businesses so, yes, the point is to make money. And if the players themselves weren’t just as interested in making a buck, we’d see a lot more of them signing bottom-dollar free agent contracts.
Wilson’s salary has pretty much doubled several years in a row, from $556,000 in 2015 to $1.5 million in 2016 to $2.7 million in 2017 to $4.25 million in 2018. And it’s not as though his on-field performance warranted it.
He probably should be glad some teams really aren’t that interested in winning because if they were it would be hard to find someone willing to sign a relief pitcher who has averaged 5.4 walks per nine innings each of the past two seasons.
Houston Rockets star James Harden is doing amazing things these days. He strung together 24 consecutive games of 30 or more points and his current scoring average of 36.3 points per game would be the seventh best mark in NBA history.
However, to put his numbers into historical perspective, you need to consider the impact of the 3-point field goal. Harden attempts more than 13 3-pointers per game and makes almost five. If those shots counted as only two points, as they would have prior to 1979, Harden’s scoring average would be 31.4. Still good but not quite be in the top 25 averages in NBA history.
Wilt Chamberlain, who played before the advent of the 3-point field goal, has five of the top six scoring averages in the league’s history, topped by a mind-boggling 50.36 in 1962. The only non-Wilt number above Harden on the list is Michael Jordan’s 37.09 in 1987. Jordan made only 12 3s that season.