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In yet another example of convergence -- this seems to happen all the time with both good and bad things in this sports market -- the Wolves are having an awful time scoring ... and the potential scorer they traded away (Derrick Williams) just had his first big game in Sacramento.
We'll tread lightly here because we didn't think much of D-Will here and don't think he will ever be much more than a guy who can put the ball in the basket every three or four games. That said, we could be wrong -- and Williams certainly had one of those "flashes of brilliance" games last night for his new team, the Kings.
Williams had 31 points, five rebounds and five steals in a blowout win over Dallas. He played 35 minutes and went 12 of 16 from the field (3 of 5 from three-point range), including a highlight reel dunk (video above). That's the good D-Will.
Of course, in his first five games with the Kings -- playing at least 21 minutes in all of them and 25 in all but one -- he had a total of 46 points (9.2 ppg average). He didn't make a single three-pointer. He stunningly had a game against OKC where he played 27 minutes and scored 13 points yet failed to register a rebound or an assist. That's the bad D-Will.
He's a momentum player, so we'll see if his big game against Dallas propels a run that makes him a more consistent scorer and overall player -- or if he puts up 8 points next time out with very little else added to the mix.
Quarterbacks Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, AJ McCarron of Alabama and Jameis Winston of Florida State were all invited to the Heisman ceremony on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Auburn's Tre Mason and Boston College's Andre Williams are the running backs.
That's a pretty good list, but what we like better is the trivia.
Lynch, of course, used to play for Jerry Kill with NIU in the MAC. And it's been a while since the MAC had a Heisman finalist. How long?
The last two players from the MAC to be named a finalist for the Heisman were Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss in 1997 and Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington in 1999. Moss finished fourth behind Peyton Manning, Ryan Leaf and Charles Woodson while Pennington was fifth, placing behind Ron Dayne, Joe Hamilton, Drew Brees and Michael Vick
After the turn of the century, the MAC has placed several players in the top 10 of the voting, but none were invited to New York for the final ceremony.
Marshall's Byron Leftwich finished sixth in 2002 while Miami (Ohio) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger placed ninth in 2003. Ball State QB Nate Davis was eighth in 2008.
There's your MAC history lesson for the day, and a great reason to write a headline with Moss in it.
You might know that Trevor May is a pitching prospect the Twins acquired from the Phillies during last year's Winter Meetings along with Vance Worley in exchange for Ben Revere.
You might also know May has a side hobby/gig as a DJ.
Whichever you choose to think of first is up to you.
On the mound, May was 9-9 with a 4.51 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning last year for New Britain.
In the music realm, he has dropped a HOT new single called Tambor, which he announced to the world yesterday via Twitter. We can only assume the beats were inspired by Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development fame.
We've embedded the preview of the track below. We cannot confirm or deny whether May is still performing under the name DJ Hey Beef, but if you want more beats and want to go back to a time when he certainly was, this YouTube link and the "Five Minutes of Beef" should delight you.
It was an eventful Monday news conference with Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, who revealed that the NFL called him (unsolicited) about transpired in Baltimore -- the officiating, not the snowballs. Frazier said it was the second time this season the league has called him. He declined to say what the other game was, but he did say it was early in the season, and it sounded like it was in another narrow loss (which unfortunately doesn't narrow it down much).
The bigger news? Christian Ponder has passed his concussion tests and is cleared to play. Frazier said that means the staff will once again begin the process of evaluating who the starting QB will be for Sunday's home game against the Eagles.
Our sincere hope, of course, is that this is just Frazier lip service designed to buy some time and plant whatever seed of doubt might exist with the Eagles. What we do know is this: Adrian Peterson is banged up, with the result of his MRI still unknown. Toby Gerhart, we learned, has a strained hamstring and his status is in question. With a potentially gimpy running game, the choice should be even easier: Matt Cassel.
Cassel has played significant minutes in four games this season: three starts and a relief effort against Chicago. Two of those games represent two-thirds of the Vikings' victories this season. Another, Sunday, represents a game in which he twice directed TD drives with less than two minutes remaining, only to be stung by the defense and special teams. Ponder, too, has been stung by the D on a few occasions. But it has never been in the context of "he did everything he could do, and the team still came up short."
Josh Freeman? At this point, do the Vikings even bother? Cassel is playing respectably. Ponder is the only one under contract next season (Cassel has a contract clause for a second year, but either he or the Vikings can void it). Maybe the Vikings would turn to Freeman seeing as how they are officially eliminated from the playoffs, but it seems hard to picture at this point.
Hopefully the Vikings will make it easy on all of us and name Cassel the starter for the final three games -- if for nothing else than to see what might have been had he played a full seasons.
Adrian Peterson seems like one of those athletes who is virtually unflappable when it comes to letting something bug him for very long. On the field he often has a smile on his face; even when he makes a mistake or the Vikings mess up, he always appears to be one to turn the page quickly.
Maybe we don't know him well enough to make that judgment. It's just our perception. And as such, it was surprising to see his frustration boil over Sunday in various mediums as it pertained to both the officiating and the fan behavior in Baltimore.
We happened to be listening to his rawest emotions during KFAN's postgame show, when he ripped officials and Baltimore fans pretty good. By the time reporters caught up with him postgame, the message hadn't changed much.
“Some of the calls that were made. To me, it was kind of one of those games where it was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that was called,'" Peterson said. “Then, to top it off, they got the worst fans in the NFL throwing snowballs the entire fourth quarter like kids. It was a bad feeling, a bad experience.”
He also had this stream of thoughts on his Twitter feed:
What does it all mean? Well, at the very least Sunday's game set him off. Frustration over leaving the game because of injury certainly could have played a role, though the two circumstances he mentioned (refs and snowballs) are definitely gripe-worthy.
Then again, his tone in an expansive interview with Mark Craig that appeared in the Sunday Star Tribune also reflected some hints of frustration. Consider this passage:
Asked to describe his level of frustration with the quarterback situation, Peterson thought for a moment. He’s never been one to complain.
“It can be frustrating at times when it’s just not consistent at that position,” Peterson said. “It makes it harder on the run in a sense. … I think the play will pick up. I feel like we just need someone that can have the mind-set that they want to be a champion at the quarterback position.”
Asked if the Vikings need an elite quarterback to win the Super Bowl, even with him on the team, Peterson didn’t hesitate.
“I don’t necessarily think so,” he said. “We need someone who can manage the game. I feel like the quarterback of the team is someone who just needs to manage and get the job done. But I would surely expect that person to go in with the mind-set of, ‘Hey, I’m the leader of this team.’ The same mind-set that I have. I feel like that would be the best solution.”
Again, justified and nothing really controversial. But as Craig noted, Peterson isn't one to complain. Maybe what we're seeing is a man pushed too far -- at least until he gets a quarterback, full health and a snowball-free game.
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