COLUMN: Another busy sports week

OFF THE MARK COLUMN
By: 
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     So much is happening right now that ties into my favorite sports teams. And not all of it is good news for my teams. Let’s start out with some baseball and the Chicago Cubs. General Manager Theo Epstein resigned. Epstein is largely responsible for bringing the Cubs a World Series title.

     Epstein is also responsible for sending off some of the Cubs’ most prized minor leaguers to achieve that dream. Most notably current Yankee SS Gleyber Torres and current White Sox OF Eloy Jimenez.

     The Torres trade brought the Cubs RP Aroldis Chapman. Most Cub fans will probably agree that without Chapman, the Cubs do not win the World Series. The Jimenez trade also brought to the Cubs another pitcher, Jose Quintana. Many Cubs fans may argue that we came out on the wrong end of that deal.

     Epstein eventually traded away five of the Cubs’ top prospects. I’ll take the World Series in a second but it still hurts losing both of these players. I guess it’s true, you can’t have you cake and eat it too.

     My Green Bay Packers are another piece of the mysterious puzzle that surrounds my world of sports. The Packers sit comfortably in first place at 7-3 but the last two weeks of games have been head-scratchers. Last week they barely squeaked by a terrible Jacksonville team. This past Sunday they were in total command against a good Colts team and literally fumbled the game away, in OT.

     Green Bay has invested heavily on the defensive side of the ball, drafting 12 defenders in the first three rounds since 2015. Conversely, they have taken just six offensive players in the same time frame and three of those were in 2020. Of those twelve defensive players, there are eight still on the active roster.

     Maybe it is time to find a better coach to lead the defense.

     Some good news is happening on the Hawkeye front. After a disappointing 0-2 start, the Hawkeyes are now sitting at 3-2 with a great win over Penn State at Happy Valley. Now I do realize Penn State is not very good this year, but they sure were last season at 11-2 and finishing ranked 10th.

     Coach Ferentz also became just the fourth coach in Big Ten history to win 100 conference games, joining Wayne “Woody” Hayes, Glen Edward “Bo” Schembechler and Amos Alonzo Stagg. Ferentz needs a good nickname like Woody’s or Bo’s.

     Fantasy football update: I did indeed lose last week and that loss dropped me into fifth place at 6-4. All four teams ahead of me won last week and they all sit at 7-3.

     This week I took on one of the two teams in our league where the coaches quit paying attention to their teams and rosters. Usually playing against those two teams mean a sure win. My opponent had only seven out of nine roster spots active but as of the end of Sunday’s games, I only lead by one point.

     But going into tonight’s (Monday) game, I still have three players remaining (he is at zero) so I have bottled up the win.  It looks like I will move up into a tie for fourth place. Once again Dalvin Cook was my player of the week, scoring 22 points. Where was he last week?

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