1. NFL coaches finally adapting
Since the mid-2000s, and perhaps earlier than that at some of the lower levels, college football has advanced football offensively in ways the NFL did not even want to imagine. It’s not that the league couldn’t — though, those NFL talking heads would talk until they’re blue in the face about how college offenses would not translate — it’s that the NFL would not adapt.
College football stretched the field vertically and horizontally, adding running and passing concepts that we’re just now seeing in the NFL in a widespread manner. And you know what it produced? Monday night’s game.
The Chiefs-Rams game is just the beginning of more to come. Patrick Mahomes is just the start. And I, for one, cannot wait.
2. Marcus Mariota
With the concept of adapting college concepts into the NFL in mind, I’m thankful Marcus Mariota has not just called it quits on the idiocy that is the Tennessee Titans. They’ve refused to utilize Martiota’s strengths, forcing him into mostly bland NFL concepts, except in spurts. Guess what, the Titans’ hurry up offense, which exploits “college” concepts, has been good. But the normal offense is horrendous. So my favorite college quarterback of all time has struggled because of it. Sigh.
3. PAC 12 refs
They’re horrific, you say? Well, that’s why I am thankful for them. Because without their blunders, Oregon might have held onto the win over Stanford earlier this year, which would have made Oregon’s subsequent losses that much more frustrating. So thanks, annually terrible PAC 12 refs.
4. Bol Bol and Zion Williamson
Speaking of my Oregon fandom, Bol Bol has been fun to watch. At 7-foot-3 and the son of NBA legend Manute Bol, Bol Bol (that’s three Bols in a row if you missed it) can shoot the 3, and, of course, throw down some spectacular dunks. That makes watching Oregon even more fun to for me. But he’s not even the most prolific freshman, as Duke’s Zion Williamson has been a revelation. I somehow found myself watching Duke for fun the other night. I can’t remember the last time that happened.
Hey, Ninja, the most prolific Fortnite personality, was featured on ESPN, so that makes the video game a sport, right? I guess it’s on par with all the poker shown on ESPN. Either way, the video game is fun to play. Yeah, I’m 30. Why are you asking?
6. GCCC’s football team
Garden City Community College’s head coach, Jeff Sims, reminded me after the Broncbusters’ latest win that I once told him I wanted to cover a winner. At the time, what I meant was I don’t specifically root for teams I cover, I root for the narrative. But the narrative is almost always more fun to write when it’s about a winner. Well, Sims has helmed the Busters to their second NJCAA title game in three years. And two years ago, I got to cover the Busters in Yuma, Ariz. Guess what is in Yuma, Ariz.? An In N Out. Thanks, Busters.
7. High school sports
With the retirement of Brett Marshall at the beginning of the fall sports season, I have been reintroduced to prep sports full time. It’s just a different feel than college. And it’s been refreshing. Also, the games are shorter. Hey, I’ve got a deadline to keep.
8. Dodgers losing the World Series
I’m a Diamondbacks fan, and a reformed Dodgers fan from when I was a child and did not know any better. Them winning the World Series would be a nightmare, considering 80 percent of my high school and college friends are Dodgers fans. And given that the D’backs are just terrible, the Dodgers losing is the best I can root for.
Contact J. Levi Burnfin at firstname.lastname@example.org.