The littler guy!
Everybody loves an underdog, and four weeks into the new year you’re not going to find one better than Yogi Ferrell. The speedy sparkplug out of Indiana was one of the most exciting players to watch in college basketball over the past two years but went undrafted last June.
Generously listed at 6’ tall and without the transcendent handles and shot that one needs to succeed at that size, Yogi was signed by the Brooklyn Nets before the start of the season, for whom he played a grand total of ten games before being released.
These are the same Brooklyn Nets who are by far the worst team in the league this year and don’t have a single legit NBA-caliber player outside of Brook Lopez, mind you. A lesser heart would have given up there, but Ferrell landed himself a ten-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks, another team hovering around the cellar.
Only this time, he put the league on notice. Ferrell started his first three games for the Mavs and helped lead them to impressive wins over the Spurs, Cavaliers and surging 76ers, dropping dimes and controlling the offense with a poise wholly unexpected for a player with his pedigree.
And then against the Trail Blazers on Friday, Yogi went full supernova, scoring 32 points with nine threes in leading Dallas to its sixth win in seven games, as well as earning himself a two-year contract once his temporary one expires.
Look, in the long run this will probably be nothing more than Linsanity 2.0, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the hell out of this ride while we’re on it.
The high road
On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that the United States wrestling team would be allowed entry into Iran for the Freestyle World Cup.
This came just two days after it was announced that the wrestlers’ visas would be suspended in response to Donald Trump’s recent travel ban, which included Iran.
Regardless of where you stand politically with regard to Trump’s policy, you have to take your hat off to Iran for remaining civil and allowing these athletes to compete on the biggest stage of their sport.
With so much negativity and tragedy in the news over the past couple weeks, it is always heartening to see groups who might otherwise be enemies coming together in the name of friendly competition. Most of us won’t actually watch the Wrestling World Cup, but that’s okay; it’s enough to know that there is a significant gesture being made in the name of unity. This is why we watch sports.
Like there was any doubt
What a game, huh? I didn’t think it was possible for a quarterback to make his opponent look so hopeless by comparison, especially since the opponent is like 10 years younger, armed with a better offense and just won the MVP. Kind of makes you sad if you’re a Falcons fan doesn’t it, to know that as long as Brady is still kicking, you don’t have a chance. Not that you shouldn’t have known better. *I wrote this before the game.*