How many Christmas wishes do we get as the next-to-last week of the NFL season approaches? Here are four.
That the NFL doesn’t try to sneak in one last Thursday night game, now that the TNF schedule officially ended last week. That we go a week without an MVP candidate getting knocked out with injury, after two straight weeks of it happening. That there’s not a single appearance of an index card or the phrase did not survive the ground in any game. And that there’s no reason to discuss workplace leg-shaving at any time.
As for the games themselves, 13 of the 16 spread over three days this holiday weekend have playoff implications, including, amazingly, both games that will compete with the NBA on Christmas day.
Certainly, Thomas did his part. His game, especially given his diminutive size, revolves across sacrificing his body on repeated drives to the rim. He averaged more than eight free throws per game last season. Thomas was eventually shut down for the year with a hip injury in Game 2 during the Eastern Conference Finals, but he had played through that exact hip problem earlier in that postseason before it became unmanageable. He also lost his tooth during the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and didn’t even miss the second half.
Another weakness with the NCAA’s sexual assault guidelines is that there is a lack of institutional discipline for schools that lack Title IX coordinators. Each NCAA institution needs a Title IX coordinator something Baylor didn’t have until November 2014. That coordinator resigned in 2016, saying the school’s leadership wouldn’t allow her to fulfill her responsibilities.
One story came from former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who spoke of being repeatedly molested by USA Gymnastics and Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, who has since been sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges. Alarmingly, in a lawsuit filed in December, Maroney alleges USA Gymnastics tried to silence her by making her sign an NDA as part of a financial settlement that she needed in order to pay for psychological treatment.
Sure, Green bites on pump fakes and half-heartedly gambles for steals he has no chance on. Sure, he’s prone to dumb heat checks. But Green, a 36.3 percent career three-point shooter, needs no rhyme or reason to rain down buckets upon unsuspecting opponents. For this Houston team, that’s all it’s asking of him.