In negotiating a contract in sports, many players play one team off against another to improve their leverage for either more money or for better terms (years) or both, but how about a player using one sport against another. Oklahoma Sooners' very talented QB Kyler Murray, who by the way won the Heisman Trophy as the best collage football player this season as a junior, is also a star baseball player (centre fielder). He's so good in fact he was drafted in the first round (#9 overall) by the Oakland A's and was offered a $5 million bonus (guaranteed) to sign.
In an effort to squeeze more money out of Oakland, but also to see how much cash a football team would throw at him, Murray gave up his senior college year this week and declared himself eligible for the NFL draft in late April. Projected as a high first rounder even at 5' 9", which is considered pretty darn short for a pro pivot, he would assuredly be guaranteed much more money up front, plus he wouldn't have to spend a couple of years in obscurity in the minors, if he chooses baseball. Then again, one has to take into consideration the injury factor, correct?
Too often in professional sports the teams hold the upper hand in negotiations, so for once it's great to see a player pulling the strings. Tough choice indeed, or could he do both, a la Bo or Deion (Jackson & Sanders)? Stay tuned!
Trivia time, where is the annual NFL draft being held this year?
Big news out of Brandon is the surprising firing of veteran coach Chris Johnson, the head coach of the Wheat Kings' AAA Midget team (26-8) which is currently in second place in the 13-team league. No reason was officially given for his removal but there's no doubt that two late-game line brawls in their two games last week probably gave the team's council enough cause to push the ejection button.
Highly thought of coach Ken Schneider, who guided this team from 2010-14 which included a pennant title, will take over and bring much needed experience, stability and discipline to a talented club that has a very good chance to win it all, something that eluded him during his first stint with the Wheat City club.
After a few days off, the Oil Caps will get back into the swing of things this weekend where they'll see how they stack up against the best, hosting the league leading Portage Terriers tonight (Friday) and then the Selkirk Steelers Sunday night at TOGP. With only seven weeks left in the regular season, I'm sure the coaching staff would love to put up some more "W's" in the win column, providing the team with a little impetus (momentum) before the playoff push.
With only 3-5 games left in their league schedule, the top teams in the league, the Russell Rams, Miniota-Elkhorn C-Hawks and the Virden Oil Kings, will battle it out to the end for first place. The Rams currently hold the upper hand for the pennant title but the playoffs are always a different and tougher time.
We're down to the final four on the road to Super Bowl LIII and if the regular season is any indication, both games this weekend should be a real shoot-out because these were the league's four highest scoring teams. Sadly, Doug Roach and Dennis Kyle will both be devastated on Sunday as their Patriots led by the Golden Boy will go down to defeat to the youngest rising superstar QB in the league in Kansas City's Patrick Mahommes. In the NFC, the Saints' QB Drew Brees will continue his masterful career season and in an offensive explosion New Orleans will out-gun Jarrod Goff and his LA Rams.
Trivia answer, the Tennessee Titans host the draft in Nashville. Until next time....