WATERCOOLER CHAT: MAJOR BRAWL IN CHINA, PATRIOTS POISED, PRYOR CAN PARTICIPATE

BASKETBALL

A bit of a weird, freak occurrence in college basketball.  Clearly, it’s the off-season right now in NCAA men’s basketball, but sometimes teams take international trips to take on different local teams.  A change of pace, and a good way to expand awareness of the university.  The Georgetown Hoyas traveled to China on an 11 game road trip.  But, just this morning, it was reported that a major brawl erupted to end the game.  And this wasn’t just a minor fight, both benches cleared.  In fact, players were chasing each other around the court, and several Georgetown players were hit by water bottles.  The game apparently was very physical.  China’s team Bayi took 57 free throws compared to just 15 for Georgetown– which would surely draw ire from any team.  No score in this one, as Georgetown head coach John Thompson III pulled his players in the 4th quarter after the brawl.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, it may be the preseason, but for a guy like the Patriots Bill Bellichick, there are no warm-ups.  He takes EVERYTHING seriously.   And right now, the New England Patriots are firing on all cylinders.  They look completely fluid out there, and this isn’t even their starting squad.  Their 3rd stringers walked all over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night.  Tom Brady threw 2 touchdowns, and the Patriots may have found themselves a very exciting rookie running back in Stevan Ridley (14 carries for 84 yards).  The Bucs, on the other hand, are poised to have a good season as well, even in the now ultra-competitive AFC South (Saints, Falcons, Panthers).  But again, it is only pre-season — no use reading too much into things.  New England 31, Tampa Bay 14.

Finally, in some additional news for the NFL, it looks like they will grant former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor permission to participate in the supplemental draft.  However, he will have to serve a 5-game suspension once drafted.  Now, this is where it gets interesting:  What’s that 5-game suspension for?  Many would say that it’s additional punishment for his gift-taking at Ohio State, but that would acknowledge that the NFL is somehow ‘officially’ affiliated with the NCAA — which is not the case.  Since practically the beginning of football, the NCAA has acted basically as a free farm system for the NFL — and the NBA for that matter.  When players are ready to ‘go pro’, they leave college, and that’s the end of the relationship.  Theoretically, the pro leagues don’t care what you did wrong before you got there.  It’s unrelated. But, the NFL is saying that Pryor was suspended because he broke the rules of the draft (i.e. he didn’t officially declare for the league in time).  A minor technicality, but it still looks like they’re saving face on this one.  It’s a gray area.

 

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