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The Best Round In Sports

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

Where is your state in the football playoffs? Here in Illinois we’re in the semifinals. THE BEST ROUND IN ALL OF SPORTS! Oh sure, there are exceptions, but I’ve seen so many great battles in the semis. Whether it’s an individual sport or a team sport it seems that the big battle, the big push, is getting TO the finals. The pressure in the semis can be overwhelming at times. If you can get that one, you almost breathe a sigh of relief and say, “We made it.”

If I may, let me use wrestling as one example. The semi finals at the state tournament are electric. The atmosphere is super charged. The kids battle so hard to get to that championship match. The matches are epic. I’ve seen some of the best matches I’ve ever seen in the semis. The finals can have great matches too but somehow they can be anti climatic. You would think it would be just as electric and charged for the finals but it doesn’t seem that way. Football is no different. The battle to get to that BIG game can be a classic. Heck, for that matter, the quarterfinals many times have mega matchups. But for whatever reason, at least here in Illinois, the championship games have turned into blowouts. Kinda anti climatic.

Personally, I’ve been involved in 5 semi final football games. Unfortunately, we lost all 5. I know, you may be thinking – Coach, how do you know the championship game isn’t better? You’ve never been there! Hmm…can’t argue with that. But I’ve been there in other sports and this is still my humble opinion. Anyway, here we are in the semis and there will be some great, great games – and the winners will celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief. AND THAT”S MY TAKE!

Penn State starting quarterback Sean Clifford told reporters on Tuesday that he deleted his social media accounts after the Nittany Lions’ loss to Minnesota on Nov. 9. Clifford rid himself of the distraction because of the comments, and even death threats, he was receiving from fans as a result of his performance. “I completely deleted it,” Clifford said via 24/7 sports. “I usually delete it closer to games, but I completely deleted it after the Minnesota game. It’s kind of sad to say but you know how fans sometimes get. It gets a little crazy. I was kind of, I guess, sick and tired of getting death threats, and some pretty explicit and pretty tough-to-read messages. Are you kiddin me? Can fans really be that stupid? Man…

We all have seen the incident in the NFL where one player tore off the helmet of another player and then when the helmetless player came at him he hit him in the head with the helmet. OK, the player that did the hitting got suspended for the rest of the season. Most agree that was warranted. But of course there has been much discussion – too much- about the event. It’s getting a little strange in some cases. On ESPN Stephen A. Smith wondered if a pitcher in baseball that throws a 95 mph fastball at an opponents head could be considered the same as the NFL incident. Nice try Stephen A. but no. Now if the pitcher rips the batting helmet off the batters head and then hits him in the head with a 95 mph fastball, then it might be the same.

Load management in the NBA. Boy, that’s become a big topic hasn’t it? Well heck, basketball coaches have used LM for a long time. An NBA game is 48 minutes. Very few players ever played all 48. 40 is a lot. Isn’t that load management?  Many players play 32-36 minutes. It’s a tough schedule. You could never play a player all 48 minutes for all 82 games. You gotta rest em. Major league baseball has exercised LM as long as I can remember. Starters generally get a day or two off now and then. Catchers never catch both games of a DH. Many catchers don’t catch a day game following a night game. So, unless your Lou Gehrig or Cal Ripken, LM is standard procedure in baseball. Then there’s football. Load management first started when players stopped playing both ways. That was just too much. We had to manage the load. Never mind that I’ve coached tons of players that played both ways AND special teams. But that’s another story.  These days, multiple running backs split the carries. Defensive line men rotate every series. More LM. So why has this become such a hot topic in the NBA? Cause now players don’t even suit up when their load gets managed. They’re in street clothes. Unavailabe for duty sir. Hey in baseball and football you still suit up. You’re ready in case the team needs you. A baseball player getting a day off can still come in the 8th or 9th and PH. Or go into the game in later innings for defense. You dont show up in street clothes. So why can’t an NBA player suit up and play at least a few minutes to help his team? I’ll tell ya why – it hurts their average. points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, etc. If Kawhi Leonard cames in with 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter and gets 2 points, it hurts his stats. That brings his average down and we can’t have that. The super stars can’t have their stats hurt. I have a solution. Let’s make a new category. Baseball did it OPS…OBP…SP… call it whatever you want but base your scoring ave along with minutes played. Use 40 minutes as a game so to to speak. So if a player plays 10 minutes and scores 5 points for every thats really a 20 point average based on 40 min playing time. You can do the same with rebounds, steals, etc.

They’re makin a big deal out of LeBron getting a triple double against every team in the league in his careeer. Is that a big deal? I guess it is. But it reminds me of the old coach that won his 300th game of his career. When asked what that meant he said, “It means I’ve been coaching a long time.”

Hey join us next week…

The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. G. Patton

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.