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The Madhouse: NBA restart, Suns unis, NHL ‘94, NBA2K21 ratings

The NBA needs a plan.

NBA: Finals-Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wear a mask.

What I’m reading: The Orchard Keeper, Cormac McCarthy

What I’m watching: Started watching The Connors because it happened to be on when I was sitting in front of the television. Getting ready to watch House of 1,000 Corpses for the first time in about an hour. It was my wife’s suggestion.

What I’m listening to: What’s Good Games Podcast

What I’m playing: OOTP ‘21 NHL ‘94 Rewind, Slay The Spire

What I’m thinking

The SSOL crew re-ups in Brooklyn

I love this. I don’t know if it will work, but I love it. Steve, STAT, and D’Antoni join forces to manage a couple headcases like Kyrie and KD? It will be wildly entertaining. Smart move for D’Antoni, who will spend one year with the Nets before he’s a head coach again.

Suns get new unis

I don’t know what I think about this. I think maybe I’m desensitized to jersey reveals. I still have my old Champion screen-printed gems from circa 1993 in a box buried in a closet. I just can’t seem to part with them. I was all over the trend of finding the most obscure throwbacks for purchase when that was a big deal in the early aughts. My 2xl Bob Griese Purdue jersey that reads ‘Mitchell and Ness’ but in fact is a Chinese knockoff adorns the inner wall of my garage today. But at a certain point it all just got to be too much. “Special Edition St. Patrick’s, honor the troops, and don’t forget about breast cancer warmups.” I just can’t keep up. So there’s another Suns jersey. And I’ve seen so many of them. So I don’t know if I like them.

But they’ll get my money.

Tony La Russa signs with White Sox

I’m a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan. I think I’ve shared this before. This week the pale hose inked 76-year-old Tony La Russa to be the 41st manager in franchise history. It’s a polarizing move. The Sox are a young, very fun team, and La Russa is an old, very not fun manager. Analytics just won the Los Angeles Dodgers a World Series trophy. La Russa hates analytics. It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. I’m mostly relieved that the Sox didn’t go with Alex Cora or A.J. Hinch, and while the value of analytics will continue to be debated, Tony La Russa wouldn’t have pulled Blake Snell from Game Six of the World Series.

NBA2K21 ratings revealed

The new ratings, anyway. Bubble ratings. And ratings that will be incorporated into next-gen consoles. That’s the PS5 and Xbox Series Something if you’re not keeping up. Athletes, well some athletes, make a big deal about these numbers. See, if you’re unfamiliar, computer nerds take a player like James Harden, and decide on a scale of something to 100 how good these players are. Across all sports, across all gaming mediums, there are players who care about these numbers. Not all, but many. And some care a lot.

WHO GIVES A SHIT?

I can understand a lot of things. I can’t understand this. Ego is too simple of an answer. “They had me at an 83? I’m an 88.” If you’re unfamiliar with this phenomenon check it out on the social media platform the kids use. It’s wild how much some people care about the dumbest thing in the history of the universe. I don’t get it. I can’t get it. Help me understand.

NHL ‘94 revived

Those who preordered NHL ‘21 were treated to NHL ‘94 Rewind on Friday. For those unfamiliar, NHL ‘94 was originally released on the Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and Sega CD. Many may remember the game from the film Swingers, though Vince Vaughn and Patrick Van Horn are actually playing NHLPA Hockey ‘93.

The game is considered one of the greatest sports games of all time and is quite possibly the greatest hockey game ever produced. At Ball State I spent more time playing this game than I did studying, and both my skills on the Genesis and my transcripts bear this out.

EA’s newest offering features exactly the same gameplay that was revered nearly three decades ago, but with modern players. Those rosters won’t be updated, and it doesn’t matter. My college buddies fought over who got to play as 1994 Jeremy Roenick in 2005, and it was as fun as it ever was.

Few games are held in such high esteem as NHL ‘94, but this is a trend that I would love to see continue across sports and platforms.

NBA considering December 22nd start date for new season

This is a bad idea.

The Association has toyed with a number of start dates to tip off the next season. Martin Luther King Day was a popular discussion, but more recently the narrative has moved towards a December 22nd start and a 72-game slate. That’s because starting as late as January could mean revenue losses upwards of a four, FOUR billion dollars. For the season that just ended the league missed revenue projections by $1.5 billion. A great deal of the projected losses would be a result of fans being unable to attend indoor games. Obviously those laws vary state to state.

You know what? I actually changed my mind as I was typing this. I guess I don’t care if the league gets underway on December 22nd. It just seemed too soon. And I thought starting on MLK Day sounded pretty cool. But here’s what you do. Play outside. Play outside in January??? Yeah, play outside. In Phoenix last January, more days than not topped 70 degrees. The cities in which this can be done are obviously limited. But for those were it’s more plausible, put basketball courts in football stadiums. Toss some hardwood down in a minor league ballpark. Absurd? Maybe. Probably! But then $4 billion is an absurd amount of money.

Happy Halloween!