Apologies for my absence, here’s some quick thoughts on recent stories

Movie quote of the day:

“What? Over? Did you say ‘over?’ Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

– Bluto, “Animal House” (1978)

Welcome back! It’s been a long time since my last post. I apologize for that but I’ve had a busy few weeks that included taking a trip to New York City and moving to Nashville. Hopefully, now that I’ve settled in, I’ll be able to post more. There’s been a lot of sports news recently so here are some quick thoughts:

The NHL recently made the decision to add a franchise in Las Vegas.
The NHL recently made the decision to add a franchise in Las Vegas.

1. NHL is making a great move by expanding to Las Vegas

I applaud the NHL for electing to place its 31st franchise in Las Vegas. The league was able to look past the extra circular activities (gambling, etc.) in the city, which let’s be honest is ridiculous because every professional sports league is in bed with gambling companies (FanDuel, Draft Kings, etc.) I know Las Vegas has a lot of distractions, but it’s too big of a city to not have a professional team. There’s already been over 15,000 deposits for 2017-2018 season tickets for the new NHL team (approximately 85 percent of T-Mobile Arena will be season ticket holders that year). This will be a great move for the NHL and I expect other leagues to follow. Now, where does the NHL expand to now to get to an even 32 teams? My guess is Seattle.

Cleveland forward LeBron James celebrates with his teammates after winning the NBA finals.
Cleveland forward LeBron James celebrates with his teammates after winning the NBA finals.

2. Good for Cleveland

If you know me, it was no secret that I wasn’t cheering for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals. I don’t have a problem with the city of Cleveland, I just really like the Golden State Warriors. However, Cleveland finally got its first championship and I’m happy for the people of northeast Ohio. Seeing the estimated 1.3 million people show up for the Cavaliers’ championship parade was awesome. That’s what sports is all about. Since the Cavs’ title, the Indians have been hot and have emerged as a possible World Series contender. Good for Cleveland.

Kevin Durant holds his new Golden State jersey after recently deciding to sign with the team.
Kevin Durant holds his new Golden State jersey after recently deciding to sign with the team.

3. Lay off Kevin Durant

I wasn’t a huge fan of LeBron James’ decision to go to Miami only because of the way he left. He had every right to leave, but I wasn’t a fan of “The Decision.” That has led to most of his criticism today. Now, I’m defending Kevin Durant. He had every right to leave Oklahoma City, and I have zero problem with it. In my opinion, he handled it the right way and didn’t try to bring too much attention to himself. Leave the man alone.

Denver LB Von Miller.
Denver LB Von Miller.

4. Von Miller’s contract is great for him, but bad for the Denver Broncos

Congratulations to Von Miller for becoming the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. The Super Bowl 50 MVP signed a six-year/$114.5 million contract that has $70 million guaranteed. After the way he played in the postseason, he’s deserving of that type of money. However, I’ve always said that I would never pay top-tier money to any player that wasn’t a quarterback, especially any player on the defensive side of the ball. The game has changed and, generally speaking, defensive players don’t lead to wins anymore. How many times has a franchise signed a defensive player to a large contract and were happy about it? Almost none. J.J. Watt, Ndamukong Suh, and Robert Quinn are three of the highest paid defensive players and all have a combined record of 37-43 and one playoff berth since signing their respective contracts. Teams need to invest money in quarterbacks and offensive line in order to have a realistic shot of winning a Super Bowl today.

The Big 12 conference recently made a decision to entertain offers for potential expansion.
The Big 12 conference recently made a decision to entertain offers for potential expansion.

5. Big 12 expansion is very necessary

If you asked me this question two weeks ago, I would’ve said it wasn’t necessary. Now, the ACC just signed a massive 20-year contract with ESPN to launch the ACC Network station in 2019. That will lead to billions of dollars going into the ACC’s pocket, and now the Big 12 is the only conference to not have its own television network. The Big 12 should’ve expanded years ago, but now it’s imperative if it’s going to survive. Generally, more teams and a conference championship game means more television money. The Big 12 now has a conference championship game, now it needs to add two more teams at a minimum. Personally, I’m in favor of adding four teams and keeping a nine-game conference slate (six game in a division and three “cross over” games). Most likely candidates: BYU (history of great athletics, but might be difficult since BYU doesn’t like to play on Sundays), Central Florida (Orlando market, Florida has some of the best recruiting in the country, gives WVU an east partner, and is the third biggest school in the country which means a large alumni base), Cincinnati (Cincinnati market, Ohio has great recruiting, gives WVU an east partner, and a recent history of pretty good athletics), Connecticut (brings some of the northeast market, decent history of athletics, and an east team to help WVU), Houston (Houston market, one of the hottest football programs, and with the endorsement of Texas’ president Houston should be a lock for an invite), and Memphis (Memphis market, decent athletics, and an east partner for WVU).

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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