1-Man’s Opinion in Sports–Tuesday “Aztecs Basketball-Put Up-Shut Up”

Posted by on February 19th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Aztecs Basetball-Put Up or Shut Up”

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Now we get to see what a good college basketball team looks like, and it’s not San Diego State.

They’ve had good games, and bad games. They’ve seldom gotten hot. And now it has become crunch time.

San Diego State basketball has been streaky all year. Now Wednesday night, State faces nationally ranked Nevada-Reno at Viejas Arena.

That is a (24-1) basketball team that comes to town. The Wolfpack started (13-0), lost at New Mexico, and now have reeled off 11-more straight wins.

Nevada has stormed thru the Mountain West Conference…with 10-wins of 10-points or more in the league….and victories by 33-39-40 point margins against the weak teams in the league.

Jordan Caroline and Caleb Martin are averaging 37-points a game between them. The team has hit 218-3’s, and isa averaging 81-points a game this year.

They have non conference wins over Utah-Arizona State-USC and Loyola.

For the Aztecs, there can be no letdowns, that would lead to a blowout.

The Wolfpack start 5-seniors, and their top 6-players are all transfers, a real challenge for a somewhat young SDSU front line.

They are loaded with veteran talent.

Coach Brian Dutcher’s comments.

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…Nevada is capable of being a Final 4-team this year.
…We have to set a defensive game plan to slow them down
…They are a downhill team with all their players
…Free flowing-aggressive style with a talented coach

…We beat them pretty good last year-they have circled us on the calendar.
…Not just taking away a player or two…it’s a battle every possession.
…They can hurt you from every position..game to game
…All capable of scoring…they go with hot hands..could be Caroline-Martin
…They are not governed by set plays

…They play hard for 40-minutes every night…great effort
…They are never out of games they play hard…they don’t let

…The physical nature-egressive-would have been challenge to play us early
…Our young players have games under their belt…now we feel good
…Playing them late in schedule helps our young players
…Home court helps us a lot…the crowd will get into it

…Need to get stops…being efficient on offensive
…Loss to New Mexico…Lobos hit 14-3’s…zoned them and got hot in Pit

…Nevada loaded with transfers…entire starting lineup 5th year seniors.
…They have recruited quality players via transfers
…Only team ranked in country with 5-transfers this year
…They run set plays vs zones..very good with spacing…they don’t get rattled

…Nathan Mensah has some back issues-limited in practice

…Known Eric Musselman along time
…Eric is super intense-sometimes over the top-he is not his father
…We had (34-3) team that was pretty good…these guys are the equal to that
…We get to tourney it becomes matches….he wants favorable seeding
…Nevada does not want to drop from 3rd or 4th seed going to final weeks season
…Wolfpack have been good…they’ve turned it up a notch since early in th year

…Jordan Caroline is huge presence -plays bigger than frame
…Caroline a huge physical presence-fierce rebounders both ends of floor.
…Wolfpack have hit 218-3’s this year…not fraud to launch it.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday “NFL-vs-Colin Kaepernick-Winners & Losers”

Posted by on February 18th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“NFL-Colin Kaepernick-Winners-vs-Losers”

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He took a knee….the NFL has been brought to its knees again.

The Colin Kaepernick story that will not go away. Now the weekend settlement, out of court, to pay money to the ex-49ers quarterback to drop his lawsuit against the NFL, for allegedly black-balling him after his 2016-display of kneeling during the National Anthem to protest social injustice in the killings of black men by police officers.

Typical NFL, an out of court settlement, with a confidentiality clause, as if the story will go away. No admittance of wrongdoing either. This Kaepernick settlement comes weeks before the actual trial was to begin.

Weeks before Emails, texts, correspondence, depositions would have been dragged into court.

You’ve heard that before haven’t you? The NFL Concussion settlement, just before that case was to go to trial, the NFL woke up one morning and wrote a check for 865M-to fund research, and to pay players who died of CTE to the brain. The NFL did this rather than go to court in what would have been an angry display of evidence, ‘what they knew……when they knew it…..what did they or didn’t they do about it’.

No one is saying, yet, what the payoff to the ex-49ers QB might be. He opted out of his 12.6 M contract with San Francisco to test free agency. , after leading the Niners to the Super Bowl one year and the NFL title game another year.

It might well be he got a huge check, maybe even equal to what he might have made in the NFL had he played the last two years, possible earning potential of 10M a year. Bet too, the NFL picked up his legal fees to end this public dialogue. Maybe he does not go to court, and instead gets 25M total in the settlement.

He has not played a game in 2017 or 2018, as desperate NFL teams signed guys off the street like Josh Johnson, Sam Bradford, Derrick Anderson, Austin Davis, Nathan Peterman and Matt McGloin to fill roster spots. Everyone got a call, but not Kaepernick.

You could condemn the QB for kneeling infront of the flag, I did, coming from a military family. But then when you see what Kaepernick did, with personal contributions over 1M of his own money, while unemployed, to school lunch programs in both Oakland and San Francisco, maybe you look at things differently.

The contributions he made to help parolees fix their lives after prison. The donation of money to build a hospital in Ghana. In terms of caring about others, he walked the walk, talked the talk.

Yes, the NFL started foundations in each city, supposedly funding money to deliver messages from NFL players to the inner cities about improving life and programs to help the disadvantaged.

Sometimes it smacks of the ideology, throw money at it, and it will go way. Used to work the way in the NFL, until players went public over health benefits and brain damage and suicides, and said the NFL’s new business practice was “Delay-Deny-Hope You Die”

In retrospect, the quarterback was not protesting the flag, just the inequality that still seems to exist in 2019, bringing back hurtful memories how Americans treated minorities as if this was 1959 or 1939 or 1899. It was happening as America waved the flag.

Some will say Kaepernick is a sellout, taking a payday now, for what he decried 24-months ago. But his sacrifices have been huge for his public stance of what ails society.

The Flag has been sacred in our nation. See the country reaction to 9/11….the flags everywhere…the chants USA-USA. Read up on the patriotic response right after Pearl Harbor in World War II. That’s why the hatred response was so strong initially.

But then teammates, white and black, joined the cause. Players, then coaches, then owner Jerry Jones. It was a show of solidarity, and maybe a message to the NFL, to do something, because we see something wrong.

Kaepernick didn’t raise a fist, give a finger, burn a flag. He made a statement and up till now has paid for it by missing out two years at the peak of his career talent wise.

If this had gone to court, and if he won, the damages financially could have been huge, maybe 40-to-50M considering time lost on the field, money lost in contracts, while he was being blackballed.

The hypocrisy of NFL leadership exists still this morning. Tell me Kareem Hunt, Reuben Foster, Greg Hardy, Josh Gordon, Adrian Peterson deserved to be in the NFL for what they did, and compare Kaepernick’s actions to the above mentioned and tell me who was treated unfairly?

We each have an opinion, and that’s America. So was Kaepernick’s right to free speech.

I’ll let you decide if Kaepernick was a polarizing figure…or a cultural symbol?

You tell me, who is stained more, the quarterback for what he did, or the NFL for trying to sacrifice his career?

Is Kap a Super Bowl quarterback…or maybe a more important social activist?

And as they write a check to the ex-49er, think about the NFL history in these matters. You believe they woke up one morning with ‘conscience’ and decided to pay out all that money in the CTE concussion settlement?

You think they suddenly decided this quarterback was right in all he stood for, as he kneeled?

No, there probably was a paper trail, a smoking gun, in both the CTE lawsuit and in this Anthem issue, that leads to where we are today.

We see, if at age 32, he gets a contract offer now this off season?. Does his unique pass-run option style still fit? Does losing 2-years take the edge of his game?

In taking a knee, he stood up for social injustice, and he brought the NFL to its knees again, on the way it’s done its business, treats people, and what it is all about.

By taking a knee, he stood up for the battle against racism, and that may be more important than any TD pass or games that Colin Kaepernick ever won. The NFL comes away looking like a loser again.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports—Friday “Sports in San Diego-Here-There-Everywhere”

Posted by on February 15th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“This-That-Some of the Other”

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Lots of team…lots to talk about

PADRES…Give them credit, they are trying, traying hard in the free-agent market, these meetings, and likely offers to both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Maybe a 7-to-10 year contract does not make sense, but a short term deal would be a difference maker to the lineup, help weather whatever storms ahead with a young pitching staff, and give ownership a boost in credibility. But I get the sense the Padres are being used as a pawn in all this, and that Harper might wind up going back to Washington, and Machado wants to wait with hope the Yankees show up with a bid. Guess you never find out if you don’t roll the dice, take a shot in the dark. They did land Eric Hosmer, didn’t they?

CHARGERS…They always talk about the ‘window closing’ on good teams, it might be closing quicker on the Chargers. They’ve just released veteran DE-Corey Liuget, in a salary cap move. Top young WR-Tyrell Williams can leave as a free agent this spring. Veteran CB-Casey Hayward is coming off a sub-standard season. TE-Antonio Gates seems headed to retirement. Not many veterans left in what is becoming a younger and younger roster around QB-Philip Rivers. It’s weird, two winning seasons since the move to LA, and you don’t feel they have accomplished anything since leaving San Diego?

SAN DIEGO FLEET…A nice start to the season, even with the opening day loss in San Antonio. Chargers fans obviously are interested, gauged by the 5.8-TV rating in San Diego last Saturday. They are going with backup QB-Philip Nelson this weekend against Atlanta. It hasn’t been easy for the front office, the late start, virtually no marketing, limited facilities for the coaches, and the rain, the rain, the rain, trying to put together quality practices having to use 3-different fields. Still lots of work to be done.

AZTECS….Yes you can go home, at least return to where you did well. Brady Hoke comes back to Montezuma Mesa after helping turn the program around years ago. Hoke went to Michigan, and rebuilt the Wolverines, but then saw it all fall apart, getting fired. He went to Oregon, lasted one year as defensive coordinator. Went to Tennessee as a defensive line coach, but was swept out in a coaching change. Then on to the NFL Carolina Panthers, where he went one year and done as Ron Rivera cleaned his staff out. He will work for Rocky Long in what has become a special friendship. I am surprised Hoke did not go back to a head job in the Mid American Conference, where he did so well at Ball State, the stepping stone to the Aztecs job.

SAN DIEGO STATE….The basketball program is playing better marching thru the second half of the Mountain West season, but there’s a problem within. Star forward Jalen McDaniels, likely the Player of the Year in the Mountain West Conference, is not being allowed to talk tot he San Diego media, the aftermath of the voyeur lawsuits filed by two high school girls, whom he secretly videotaped having sex with friends, and then sent it viral to friends. Is he going to boycott the media if he wins player of the year? If he goes to the NBA, what do you think dealing with the media will be like? JD Wicker, Mike May and coach Brian Dutcher need to re-think this, for it stains their credibility.

USD…A nice season at the Jenny Craig Pavilion for coach Sam Scholl’s team…but maybe it comes to a crashing conclusion this week. BYU is here then Gonzaga and its (24-2) record rolls in. And of course the Toreros are probably not looking forward to the end of the era of Isaiah Pinier, Isaiah Wright and Ollin Carter. They all graduate after this season is complete.

GULLS…The nationwide hockey media, including those in Canada, believe Dallas Eakins will be he next head coach of the Ducks, after the firing of coach Randy Carlyle last Sunday. The Ducks, fighting to stay out of last place, are calling up virtually all the top young draft picks that have been in San Diego. Why not take Eakins, who has 300-career wins in the AHL, now, and let him put his system in and let him evaluate the Ducks roster the last 25-ghames of the schedule, to see what fits, doesn’t fit the way he does things?

SOCKERS….Here comes Landon Donovan, his brilliant career forever written in the history books of the US Wold Cup soccer team. He threw his support behind the Soccer City package, and seemed on a track to possibly a key front office job, till voters rejected the stadium proposal. I guess the only thing I don’t understand, if his desire is to still play. If the talent level is still there, why play in the MASL, the indoor league, when the MLS is still growing? And why not try to convince Greg Berhalter to let him return to the US World Cup program, either as a player or a coach as they transition to a much younger roster? Part of me hopes this Sockers signing isn’t a cheap publicity stunt for a semi pro league. Part of me wishes Donovan was doing more in his post playing career.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday. “Padres-Spring Training Takes from Peoria”

Posted by on February 14th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Baseball’s Back–Spring Training Takes”

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A cold rain fell across Southern California as pitchers and catcher reported to Cactus League camps in Arizona, home of the Padres-Dodgers-Angels. There was sunshine everywhere in spring training, regardless of the rosters, or last year’s records.

A look see at the storylines that will permeate Peoria and Padresville.

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PADRES…..Are you excited, frustrated, looking forward to the next six weeks in the Catcus League. The Padres have done virtually nothing to improve on a 96-loss season from a year ago, but their game plan remains in place.

Garrett Richards, the ex Angels won’t pitch till late August. Greg Garcia is a journeyman infielder at best. Ian Kinsler is a solid multi-position 14-year veteran who has hit (248HRs) and is a (.271) lifetime hitter.

Any of them really fix the shortcomings of this roster today? Didn’t think so.

But remember, there are still free agents out there to be signed, though I think its absurd to think Bryce Harper or Manny Machado is coming in to change the personality of the team, not at 30M a year over the next 7-to-10 years.

Remember this franchise added Eric Hosmer at 1st base last spring just as camp opened. And before that, they traded for Craig Kimbrel out of Atlanta, on the eve of the opening of season.

So its is reasonable to think, a short term rental of Mike Moustakas for 3rd base makes sense. That’s a (.251-147 HR) career guy, who if he joins Kinsler on board, would add more veteran power to a lineup. All the better for the likes of Wil Myers-Hunter Renfroe-Franmill Reyes. Think of it being a much better lineup.

But as pitchers went thru their first bullpen sessions, there are so many questions about legitimate starters for this team. Just like there are so many questions, about which of the cadre of young arms is ready to take the next step up, like the kid left-handers,Joey Lucchessi and Eric Lauer did at the end of the season.

The southpaws will be starters 1-2 the opening week of the season.

Then the realistic questions with a long list of other arms. Determine for me, show them (Andy Green-AJ Preller), if you are ready to pitch at this level.

Is Bryan Mitchell a washout, or is the (2.19-ERA) he delivered in September the maturation and polish they had gone searching for most of last season? Prospect or suspect?

Is Logan Allen ready to step up from AAA-where he pitched well down the stretch, after being rock-solid in years prior, moving thru the farm chain?

It has been a long 2-and-a half years for Calvin Quantrill, the high paid first round pick. He has not dominated at any level, but has gotten better the second half of each season he’s pitched. Don’t know if his stuff is major league ready?

Luis Perdomo has been a riddle, who has regressed since his debut as a Rule 5-arm a couple of years ago. Nagging injuries may be part of it. The ability to take instruction could he part of it. Or the failure to develop additional stuff could be the real reason he’s never gotten back to where he was just 3-summers back.

Chris Paddack may have the most upside of any body, and he has dominated for 18-months since coming back from elbow surgery right after they got him. But jumping from AA-ball to Petco Park will take more than a leap of faith. This will be fun to watch.

Matt Strahm did so well as a left-handed setup guy in the bullpen, but he is a former starter in Kansas City, and still might warrant a sot at the rotation. I’d keep him in the bullpen as a situational guy.

Robbie Erlin has been in and out of the rotation and bullpen the last couple of years. An insurance policy more than anything else, and everybody has to have a 5th starter. Only time will tell where his value lies, and lots of that depends on what the other young arms do or don’t do.

Jacob Nix was so young, and aside from one good outing, got lit up (7.00-ERA) so there is a learning curve there, but he is young with potential..

Brett Kennedy might have been (10-0) at El Paso, but his (6.75-ERA) struggles were constant once he got to San Diego. On the outside looking in.

Michael Baez shows flashes of dominance, and chunks of youth….to be determined starter or reliever?

That’s 10-young arms in the running for the final 3-spots in the starting rotation.

And further back, down road, in the system, other high picks, Adrian Morejon, Ryan Weathers, McKenzie Gore. But those are names to contemplate for another Cactus League spring.

Part of me feels like screaming, they don’t have enough proven pitchers. Part of me feels like screaming, they got lots of good kids, somebody will surface to grab these spots, yay.

A couple of years ago, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the Mets faced a similar series of questions, trying to rally the franchise. But then Noah Syndegaard, Jacob deGrom, Steve Matz, Zach Wheeler almost all arrived simultaneously. All of sudden, very good rotation.

Six weeks from now, we’ll find out if AJ Preller should have traded an outfield bat and prospects for some type of starting pitching like Mike Leake or Corey Kluber, or should have spent some free agent money for a Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi type of starter.

Baseball’s back and hope springs eternal in spring, everywhere, even in Padresville, where you think the decade of losing is about to end, if the kid pitchers deliver us answers to questions.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “The AAF-Football-Good-Bad-Ugly”

Posted by on February 13th, 2019  •  0 Comments  • 

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“AAF-Good-Bad-The Ugly”

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They got thru the first weekend of spring football with the debut of the Alliance for American Football.

Some good football….some bad football….lots of work to do.

My evaluation of what I saw.

QUARTERBACKS….They had four weeks of training camp in San Antonio. Mike Bercovici of the San Diego Fleet, is what he was at Arizona State and in NFL camps, wild, big plays and lots of turnovers. He got battered, threw interceptions, fumbled once, took a lot of hits, showed a lot of guts. He competed, and just needs more time, but his track record is scary, for he had 33-picks at Arizona State in two years.. The worst outing of the weekend might have been failed high draft pick Christian Hackenberg , with two years of NFL experience with the Jets, going just (10-23) throwing the ball. Memphis has alot of work to do with him. Atlanta got blitzed too, so they have QB problems.

OFFENSES….They threw the ball a lot. It sure looked liked Video game football, with defenses worn out by no huddle-fast track gameplans. Tight ends were dominant around the league, including the Fleets Gavin Escobar and Marcus Baugh. Not much from the running backs. Sometimes it resembled Arena League football.

OFFENSIVE LINES…When you give up 6-sacks and 10-hits on your QBs, not a good day. Blitzing is allowed up inside in the AAF, but the offensive tackles could not contain edge pass rushers, in a whole number of the weekend games. Pass protection will improve. The Fleet lost their starting center in a Thursday walk-thru and had banged up tight ends, during the protection packages.

DEFENSIVE LINE…Was impressed with Fleet pass rusher Demontrae Moore who had 1-and-half sacks, 2-pressures, and a tackle for loss. High motor, he’s an ex-NFLguy, so he should do well based on experience. But like everyone else, on the field an awful lot because the Fleet offense played so poorly.,

DEFENSIVE BACKS…Under seige all night long, but there are athletes in the secondary around the league, who held up in man coverages.

FIELD GOALS….We know who Nick Novak, Nick Folk are, so we expected longtime NFL kickers to do well. Donny Hageman hit two long field goals in his Fleet debug and was solid.

THE STATS….Offense ahead of defense, don’t know about that. In the four opening games, QBs threw 5TD passes and 9-interceptions, and took 15-sacks. Top games came from Birmingham’s Luis Perez (252P), the Division II star, who is from San Diego. Add in ex Toledo star Logan Woodside (255P) for San Antonio, and Arizona’s John Wolford-Wake Forest (275P-3TD). Big trouble with Salt Lake City losing QB-Josh Woodrum-Liberty left with a hamstring injury just 2-quarters in, and the mess Memphis has with Hackenberg. The QBs went a combined (135-248)….that’s 54%-not quite Tom Brady like stats.

THE STATS…Ex Chargers Brandon Oliver had (50R) for Salt Lake City; ex Chief Akeem Hunt had (73R) for Orlando. NFL teams will take note of San Antonio’s big-size-big speed WR-Mekale McKaye (80Y) receiving.

OFFICIATING….They let a lot of contact go in the secondary. Maybe that is what the league will be all about, won’t throw yellow flags on ricky-tack contact, holding calls. Not much in the way of holding calls either by O-lineman. One big problem, a lot of big time hits on QBs, hits that would have drawn flags in an NFL Sunday. The worst was Mike Bercovici getting blasted and pancaked by a 1st quarter sack-fumble against San Antonio. Should have been a penalty, for the pancake hit. If it’s a quarterback league, you better do a better job protecting them from over the top hits.

THE RULES….Most everyone likes the (:35) play clock to get the ball snapped..it speeds up the game….Do think the limited blitz rules (no corner-safety blitzes) will take time to get used too….No kickoffs-ideal to keep players healthy…..2-point rules-works for me instead of the PAT-kick….No onside kick rule-waiting to see how this 4th and 12-conversion attempt to retain the ball works out…..The look in on the TV instant replay evaluation seems like a cheap stunt.

ATTENDANCE…Thought it would be better the first weekend. They averaged a shade over 20,087 the first weekend. Only time will tell if they are relevant in their now markets. Fans seems to like the wide open play. .the limits in number of timeouts, and the passion of the players.

TV RATINGS….A good Saturday night debut (2.1) rating, but poor on Sunday night (0.4) on NFL network. The novelty of a new league likely attracted football junkies, so we’ll see what happens in weekend two. The XFL, years back, had a (10.5) rating its first weekend and seemed to have much more marketing behind it. The old Arena League had a (2.5) rating in its debut….Thought the network broadcast teams were involved in too much hype ‘how great all this is’….’it’s about opportunity’..and on and on and on. The quality of the product on the field will sell itself to the fans, not the announcing teams preaching every minute-every night.

IN TOWN TV RATINGS….Betrayed Chargers fans obviously were intrigued. The Fleet game at 5:30 on Saturday on CBS-8 dominated the TV ratings, a (5.8) rating for the entire broadcast…inlcuding a (6.0) rating at kickoff and a (7.0) rating at start of second half….NBA rating on KGTV 10 was a (0.4)…the other stations were in news-blocks and went from a (3.2) NBC-7…to (2.2) for KUSI-Fox 5…to KPBS (1.2)….to (0.2) for CW6-syndicated reruns….Strong debut-will see if its keeps up.

UNIFORMS….Give the Arizona Hot-Shots the award for team colors (Green-Gold) and team logo (firefighters insignia)….with the Fleet colors (Battleship Gray-California Gold) plus their logo a strong runner-up…..Birmingham Iron, no logo, no stripes, just black and white-kind of like Mike Tyson entering the ring in black trunks-no socks from back in the day.

TROUBLE SPOTS….Atlanta-Memphis-San Diego got beat by a combined score of (66-6), but the Fleet will rally under Mike Martz….Atlanta has issues, having lost coach Brad Childress, who quit midway thru camp, and then Offensive Coordinator Michael Vick who stepped away 48-hours before kickoff….and Memphis seems to have real skill talent deficiencies.

MY TAKE…Worried about injuries, if teams start losing more and more starters, where will quality replacements come from….Give them time to grow the product on the field. We’ll see if the teams make a big jump in improvement between weeks 1-and-2….See me after week 4-as to how much the QBs have developed, and if the novelty has worn off. Overall, thought weekend one was fast paced, exceptional action, and a work in progress for sure. For having been together for just 4-weeks, I thought the action was crisp. This pretty good group of coaches will now try to grow what they have. AAF-weekend one, good-bad-ugly.

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