Each of these probably should have gotten its own post, but it's been busy around here. So in the meantime, here's some hot takes that have been left out to cool:
The NHL All-Star Game rules are a joke - Your All-Star Game is supposed to exemplify everything that is best about your sport. Even the Pro Bowl gets that its appeal is watching lineups play together that would only exist on a fantasy team and never in real life. The NHL, on the other hand, decided that the biggest problem with its All Star Game was the way the freaking sport is played, and decided to instead turn it into a facsimile of what happens when half the guys in your rec league don't show. The joke was that when Gary Bettman was made commissioner of the NHL, someone gave him a hockey puck and he spent two hours trying to open it. It's nice to see some things haven't changed.
The Super Bowl was awful - Boring, slow, and completely lacking in energy. If Cam Newton doesn't overthrow a few guys in the first half, it probably would have ended very differently, but then again, if Donovan McNabb hadn't decided to squash worms with half his Super Bowl throws, we'd be talking about those championship Eagles. That being said, the game itself looked like a couple of middle-aged dudes who haven't touched a console in years trying to play Madden 16; either that, or a late-season Lions-Titans matchup. For all the storylines about Cam being the future of the NFL and Peyton's last hurrah, the NFL had to be hoping for a better
Can everyone just get off Cam Newton's back already - The world would be a much better place if all the sanctimonious middle-aged white dudes calling in to sports talk radio to talk about "class" shut the hell up and applied that energy to something a little more useful. One of the two starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl was linked to an incident of sexual harassment and is staring down PED allegations, and it isn't Cam. Class, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
Regardless of the results, it was a hell of a season for Carolina - The Panthers came out of the pre-season with precisely one above-average receiver in Greg Olsen. The rest of the squad? Philly Brown? Devon Funchess? Ted Ginn Jr., aka The Poor Man's Al Toon? Forget it, conventional wisdom said this offense had no shot. And yet there they were. So, kudos to Cam, to his o-line, to his coach and GM for patching the whole thing together, and let's just focus on what a remarkable achievement the season actually was.
Pitchers and catchers report soon - Proof that there is some good in this universe.
Tanking - This word does not mean what you think it means. It's funny, the same "Experts" who want losing teams to sell off their best players for spare parts in July rise up in righteous indignation at the logical extension of that strategy. If your team isn't going to win, it only makes sense to tear it down to try to rebuild it into something that will. And if you're going to do that, there's no sense in doing it half-assed. The "commitment to trying to win" from organizations that are in no position to win - see: Any team owned by Stan Kroenke - is as much a sham as what the hoity-toity types think the "tanking" teams are doing. And if the Cubs win the World Series this year after doing precisely what's being called "Tanking", well, Buster Olney's head might indeed explode.