Saying Goodbye

All of us reach points in our life that we say “Goodbye”. Ranging all the way from a social visit to a retirement, Goodbyes are a part of our life.. albeit, not always easy. There are types of Goodbyes around the sports world currently.
…A somewhat surprising Goodbye was by Tom Brady. Despite playing 18 of his 20 years @ New England, he fails to mention the team, owner or anyone else with the Pats at any point of his retirement speech. Was he offended in the negotiations? By the lack of negotiations? Whatever the reason, it seems “petty” to me. Has his “head” become so big that he can’t acknowledge the assistance &/or guidance for 18 years from Patriots coaches? Maybe, the failed negotiations, that led to his Tampa Bay departure, ignited these disgruntled feelings that apparently still fester today. It was disappointing! Maybe, he’s the GOAT of NFL QB but he was a goat at the press conference!
…A shocking goodbye to Billiken fans may be the pass-only play of Yuri Collins. His 35 points in the OT win against George Mason may have seemed like an aberration. “Yuri doesn’t shoot…he passes” type of thought process. Already breaking the all-time career SLU Assists Record with 444, its easy to travel down that road. However, after suffering an injury early in his senior year @ St Marys. Yuri came back as a passer AND scorer. When Yuri returned for the last 8 games of the year, the Dragons who were 11-12 for the season at that moment, went on a tear. Finishing up the season against tough opposition, Yuri carried the Dragons to the STATE championship Game (lost 69-64 to KC-Grandview). Yes, he still passed but he also scored..and scored big! In those 8 games, Yuri scored 24, 32, 22, 35,37, 31, 21 and 34 points! Sooo…he can score. Maybe, it’s time to do the same @ SLU!
…The Billikens need to say goodbye to the A-10. They should return to the Missouri Valley. According to an SI ranking of basketball leagues this year, the A-10 was ranked #9 and the MO Valley #10. At this moment, neither league has a team ranked in the Top 25. The leagues are viewed as almost equal. …When the Bills moved to the A-10 it became difficult to establish real “rivalries”, maybe, due to distance. The Billikens need to return to the Missouri Valley for cost AND like interests in competition. In both leagues, Mens basketball is the primary sport. Changing conferences ISN’T exactly new to SLU. They were in the MO Valley from 1937-74; moved to the now defunct Metro Conference from 1975-82. In 1982-91 the Bills competed in the Midwestern Collegiate Conf (now called the Horizon League). From 1991-05, it was Conference USA. SLU has been in the Atlantic-10 conference since 2005.
Currently, the Missouri-Valley is composed of: Bradley, SIU, Mo State, Valparaiso, Chi-Loyola, Drake, Indiana State, Illinois State, N. Iowa & Evansville. Some fans may think that this league isn’t “good” enough. Well..in that case, play there get some glowing records & then “step up”.
…. As a former AD, I can’t imagine the cost in sending all the teams on the long journey to the East Coast. A move to the MO Valley conference would save thousands of dollars for SLU in travel expenses & missed class time for all the teams while playing similar teams.
…Then, there’s the Goodbyes to two ol’ time coaching legends—Coach Mike Krzyzewski & Coach Roy Williams. Coach K will retire with 5 national titles in his 42 years. As a player @ Army, he played for a coaching icon, Bobby Knight. He actually started his coaching career @ Army with a 5 year stint. When Duke came calling in 1980, his life changed. He holds a lifetime record of 1188-364-76% wins in over 40 years! Coach K has sat through just 1 losing season—his 2nd @ Duke when he went 10-17. Coach K was the Head Coach for the USA Olympic Team that won 3 Gold Medals. It’s funny now…when Coach K was hired by Duke, the concern was about his recruiting. Jimmy Valvano had just been hired in N. Carolina State. Some thought that Valvano would be too vivacious, outgoing & effective in the recruiting battles in Carolina & elsewhere. Coach K proved to be up to the match!
…Roy Williams has a lifetime record of 903-264,77%. Williams was named Head Coach @ Kansas in 1988. He took the Jayhawks to 14 consecutive NCAA tournaments, 4 Final Four appearances, 2 national championship game appearances, collecting an .805 winning percentage, and winning 9 conference titles. He moved to N.Carolina in 2003. There, Williams has won 3 national championships, reached 5 Final Fours, finished 1st in the ACC regular season standings 9 times. He passed Dean Smith @ Carolina for the most wins @ the school. These 2 legendary coaches both seem like gentlemen, on-off the court. Both adapted to the game of basketball as it changed over time and continued to win.
…The MLB/MLPA continue to fail to say “goodbye” to talking without really negotiating. Hopefully, they’ll jump the hurdle to reach real negotiations where each side “gives” something. Maybe not equally, but some “gain” for each side. One of the latest points is that the MLBPA feels that the revenue sharing process currently being used inhibits the motivation for a “smaller” city franchise to invest in strong (expensive) players. The A’s, Rays, Marlins, and Pirates are being pointed out specifically. I object to listing the Rays on that list…they are winning and winning big with their current players so how can one feel that they need some type of “push”. In the other 3 cases, the MLBPA has a very strong argument. Make them REALLY compete to win not just raking in the chips off the table from the revenue sharing process.
…..Apparently, an easy Goodbye is being done by NCAA players. The transfer portal in college has been booming. In November, 1,471 NCAA players entered the portal. December saw an increase to 1,618 players. The majority of names popped into the database in November and December—both record-setting months. Those monthly figures include all NCAA athletes from Divisions, I, II, & III. Of course, as you would expect the greatest number comes from D1-FBS schools–about 35%. It reminds me of Christmas shopping….buy something, not EXACTLY what you want, so return it quickly. Same here…sign with a school, it doesn’t work out just as your expected, so leave. Many seem to think that the NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) situation as an underlying force.
…Well, it’s time for me to say “Goodbye”! Thanks for the read! Last week, we jumped up to over 850 readers. Thanks! Please share your thoughts about this blog on Facebook (Bob Ryan), on my web site http://www.bobryansportsblog.com on just send me an email(rjryansr@charter.net). Thanks for helping to spread the word to 1 family member or a friend! Bob

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