An upset win should’ve highlighted the day for NASCAR, as A.J. Allmendinger earned his first Sprint Cup win at Watkins Glen International Raceway. Allmendinger redeemed himself following a suspension for Adderall use two years ago which cost him a top-tier ride with Penske Racing. It’s a great story for the driver and his current team, JTG Daugherty Racing, co-owned by former Cleveland Cavalier and current ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty.
Instead, the day was clouded by a tragedy on Saturday night involving Three-Time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart. A dirt track accident led to the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward, Jr.
This is a story that will be a part of NASCAR and racing for quite some time. A lot will be written and said during the next few weeks about Stewart, Ward, the investigation, NASCAR, racing in general, lawsuits and more. At this time, I won’t be commenting, but I will make my opinions known as the process unfolds.
Rams Preseason Week 1
Friday night’s first half felt like it lasted four hours. It was a major struggle for me to watch the entire game. Yes, I had nothing better to do. Besides, I wanted to see some of the rookies and borderline players perform.
With no Sam Bradford, the offense was plain and difficult to dissect. Rookie running back Tre Mason displayed some positive attributes, but I want to see him a lot more in the next three preseason games. Stedman Bailey flashed greatness, but he won’t contribute until Week 5 due to his PED suspension. Regardless of what the offense shows me in the preseason with Bradford, I won’t be convinced the Rams can consistently score, until I see meaningful touchdowns, not field goals, in regular season games.
The defense was atrocious at times, but the starters didn’t play much (or not at all in the cases of James Laurinaitis and Janoris Jenkins), so I’m not concerned about them being the disappointment of the NFL in 2014. At least, not yet. Rookies E.J. Gaines, Maurice (Mo) Alexander and Marcus Roberson were impressive at times.
This Saturday, the Rams will host the Packers. Hopefully, a cleaner game will be played by the group as a whole. Bradford is expected to play, but the extent is not yet known.
The hype for Johnny Maziel (aka Johnny Football aka JFF) is uncontrollable. The NFL Network carried the game, and SportsCenter was all about the rookie quarterback Saturday night and Sunday morning.
While it was just the first preseason game and Manziel didn’t face defensive starters, he looked exciting. Reports are swirling that the competition between JFF and Brian Hoyer is close, and teammates were complimentary of Manziel after the game.
JFF will likely start next Monday against the Redskins, so mark your calendars to watch him.