Sideline View 05/07/20

By DALE MCKEE,

We do have little football, basketball and baseball news from the pros to the young guys in this week’s take on sports.

Starting with football, the National Football League intends to have a full season and is expected to announce the regular season schedule this coming week. Meanwhile, the NBA and MBL are wrestling with completing or starting their schedules. NASCAR announced last week that it will resume without fans on May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. The Pro Golf Tour will be back the first weekend of June in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Sometimes this month Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods will have a foursome Champion for Charity Challenge at a Florida venue that will be televised on TNT.

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, a former Ole Miss starting quarterback, signed with the World Champion Kansas City Chiefs last week. An interesting note is that the Chiefs signed Patterson’s old Ole Miss teammate Jordan Ta’amu as a free agent last month. They join the NFL’s 2018 MVP in Patrick Mahomes and another former Michigan signal caller in Chad Henne.

Dak has a backup

The Dallas Cowboys signed Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton last week to a $7 million contract to back up Dak Prescott. The Cowboys have had Cooper Rush behind Prescott the last two seasons. The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Prescott, who has not signed his one-year tender worth $31 million. Prescott has until July 15 to get a long-term contract done.

Baseball Draft

The Major League Baseball draft is scheduled for June 10, and several of the state’s best names may be called. The draft could be only 5 rounds, so that may affect many of the local guys. Eight players in Mississippi are ranked in the top 150 prospects.  MSU second baseman Justin Foscue is rated 32, Bulldogs shortstop Jordan Westburg is rated No. 37, Desoto Central first baseman Blaze Jordan is No. 42, Bulldogs pitcher J.T. Ginn comes in ranked No. 44, Biloxi’s Colt Keith is ranked 88, Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo is rated No. 111, Columbia Academy and USM signee Slade Wilkes is ranked No. 112, and finally Ole Miss third baseman Tyler Keenan is rated at 128. The players’ ranking does not imply that they will draft at the spot or at all.

Last Dance

An interesting look at the Michael Jordan era of the National Basketball Association is featured on ESPN in a ten-part documentary named the “Last Dance.” Jordan, considered the best player in the NBA in the 1990s, is the main character of the behind-the-scenes look at the six-time World Champs. The series is divided into three parts during the Bulls’ run to glory. The first several shows are about the early years and the building of the team. Then the next few episodes center on the first three-peat from 1991-1993. The final part deals with the second three-peat from 1996-1998. The entire documentary deals with their early rivalry with the Bad Boys of Detroit, the NBA teaching M.J. the importance of depending on others, and the egos and the ugly business side of the NBA.

Odds & Ends

The Little League World Series has been cancelled for 2020.

Landon Bussie has been named the head basketball coach at Alcorn University. He is a ten-year assistant coach at Xavier and Prairie View.

Former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil signed a $66 million contract extension with the Houston Texans. The surprising news of this is that he did it without a sports agent, which saved him three percent on fees.

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been cancelled for this season. This year’s class was planning on inducting former New York Yankee Derek Jeter into the Hall. The official ceremony will have to wait until 2021.

Mississippi State’s quarterback Keytaon Thompson has transferred to Virginia. 

Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports since 1973.