Happy friday to everyone. We start with some sad news from last night: Legendary former college basketball broadcaster Billy Packer has died at 82. Packer called 34 Final Fours, 27 of which came with CBS.

We have a big sporting weekend ahead of us, so let’s get started.

Good morning everyone, but especially…


Conference championship weekend is here and I’m excited. You should be too. We have four fantastic teams competing for two Super Bowl spots and stories abound.

Let’s start with the selections. Our John Breech says numbers don’t lie when it comes to the AFC.

  • To break: joe burrow it’s 3-0 against patrick mahomes with all three games decided by exactly three points and the Bengals going for their third straight playoff win. Plus, Burrow never lost in January (7-0), never lost a playoff road game (3-0) and I think we all know where I’m going with this pick. The pick: Bengals 27-24 over Chiefs

Oh, and just so you know, John has also chosen the previous three meetings correctly. In the NFC, our Pete Prisco don’t see things so close. We also have selections of Tyler Sullivan.

I really enjoyed reading our position by position analysis — AFC here and NFC here. Sample how deep and talented these four teams are. All of that comes from some great writing, smart list management, awesome development/training, and yes, some luck.

The big news of the weekend, without a doubt, will be the quarterback battle at Arrowhead Stadium. This is how Cody Benjamin sees it:

  • Benjamin: “Mahomes has the benefit of experience, with five straight AFC title bids and two Super Bowl appearances to his credit. He’s also better suited for off-script stunts, setting the standard as a big-play artist inside. and out of the frame. But his high ankle sprain puts a big question mark over his mobility. Meanwhile, Burrow … is quickly establishing himself as the leader of this generation. tom brady Prayed peyton manningdisplaying near-perfect vision and touch at crucial moments. Call it a dead draw.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the excellent job our NFL team has done. Here are more of my favourites.

Honorable Mention

And not so good days for…


It’s awfully quiet around the USMNT headquarters nowadays. On Thursday, the US Soccer Federation announced that sporting director Earnie Stewart and general manager Brian McBride they are leavingand president Cindy Parlow cone saying there is a “clean canvas” as the team prepares for the 2026 World Cup, which the United States is co-hosting with Mexico City Y Canada.

  • Stewart, who had been with the USMNT since 2018, returns to his home country of the Netherlands as PSV Eindhoventechnical director of McBride had been with the USMNT since 2020.
  • The team no longer has a full-time coachafter Gregg BerhalterBerhalter’s contract expired at the end of 2022. Berhalter is currently under investigation by US Soccer after a dispute broke out between him and John Reyna (…and Reyna’s parents), the result of Reyna’s minimum playing time in the 2022 World Cup. Here’s a summary.
  • Parlow Cone’s “clean canvas” comment seems to indicate Berhalter won’t be back, but she said it’s still in dispute. Currently interim coach anthony hudson He is in charge of the team.
  • The USSF has contracted with Sportsology Group to help fill all three vacancies.

Perhaps most surprising of all this is that Parlow Cone expects the coaching vacancy to be filled “by the end of the summer.” That’s a long way off, though it makes sense that hiring a new sporting director and general manager would come first.

The chances of getting the team together are rare, and the longer this goes on, the harder it will be to build chemistry and understanding of the new coach’s tactics, and less time for the new leaders to evaluate the group of players. That’s not great, especially given the high expectations for 2026.

Not so honorable mentions

What JetsNathaniel Hackett signing means chances to get Aaron Rodgers 🏈

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Nathaniel Hackett‘s disastrous first (and only … and not even full) season as head coach clearly didn’t affect his stock much. previous broncos coach He was hired As the Jetsoffensive coordinator exactly one month after Denver fired him after a 4-11 tenure at the Mile High City.


  • It could be that the Jets are willing to give a second chance to a guy who had success as an offensive coordinator in Green Bay and, before that, in Jacksonville.
  • Prayed could be the first step in a big push to Aaron Rogers.

Hackett was in Green Bay for Rodgers’ back-to-back MVPs in 2020 and 2021after all, and as we discussed in the Wednesday bulletintea packers they are expected to explore at least one trade. Our Cody Benjamin says getting Rodgers is the next logical step, and the Jets seem willing to push for some kind of veteran quarterback. Earlier this month, the owner woody johnson said the quarterback was “the missing piece”, a head coach of posture Roberto Saleh he reiterated on Thursday.

Frank Reich returns to panthersthis time as head coach 🏈

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Things have come full circle for him. panthers: Caroline hired frank reich — the franchise’s first starting quarterback in 1995 — as your next head coach. It’s the first head coaching vacancy to be filled this offseason.

  • Reich, 61, went 40-33-1 in more than four years with the foals but it was fired midway through 2022 season after a disappointing 3-5-1 start. He made it to the playoffs twice.
  • Prior to his time in Indianapolis, Reich was the Chargers‘ (2014-15) and Eagles‘ (2016-17) offensive coordinator, helping lead Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl title in his last game on staff.
  • Panthers talk about Reich steve wilksformer interim head coach who led Carolina to a 6-6 record after matt rule He was fired after a 1-4 start. wilks lawyer called the NFL.

Reich’s first order of business will be to discover the field marshal. The Panthers started three different ones — Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold Y pj walker — behind center last season, and as a result, the team finished near the bottom in most major passing categories. mayfield was released in December and ended with the ramsand Darnold and Walker will be free agents.

Maybe that worked in Reich’s favor, though, as he’s experienced with the quarterback trade. He had a different Week 1 starter every year in Indianapolis. The Panthers have the No. 9 pick and all four of our draft experts have them taking a quarterback in their mock drafts.

NBA All-Star starters revealed, and one big name is missing 🏀

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The NBA All-Star Game starters are here! The next 10 players were determined by fan (50%), media (25%), and player (25%) votes.

From the Western Conference…

  • Lebron James (captain)
  • zion williamson
  • Nicholas Jokic
  • luka doncic
  • Stephen Curry

And from the east…

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (captain)
  • jayson tatum
  • Kevin Durant
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Donovan Mitchell

For me, there is a great name that is not there and that should be, and Our Brad Botkin agrees.. On a funnier note, with James chasing Kareem Abdul Jabbarcareer points record, he tied Abdul-Jabbar’s record with his 19th career All-Star selection.

What we are seeing this weekend 📺


🏀 Grizzlies at Timberwolves7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
🏀 Raptors in Warriors10 p.m. on NBA TV


🏀 No. 13 Xavier in Creighton12:15 p.m. on CBS
🏀 Arkansas at No. 17 Baylor4 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Knicks in the nets5:30 p.m. on ABC
🏀 No. 10 Texas at No. 4 Tennessee6 p.m. on ESPN
USMNT vs. Columbia7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 No. 9 Kansas in Kentucky8 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Lakers at Celtics8:30 p.m. on ABC


🏀 Michigan State at No. 1 Purdue12:15 p.m. on CBS
🏀 No. 21 Villanova at No. 5 UConn2 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🏈 49ers at eagles3 p.m. on FOX
🏀 No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 20 NC State3 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Bengals at Chiefs6:30 p.m. on CBS

By sbavh

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