Marching to Different Tunes


As we move along in our life, things around us constantly change at different rates & paces seemingly marching to their own tune. So too in the sports world.
…Sadly, still crawling along at a snail’s pace are the MLB-MLBPA negotiations. There seemed to have been some progress then…it hit a wall. Starting yesterday (Monday), another day of the regular season will be postponed as another day passes without an agreement. The longer it takes for this agreement to be settled, the worse it is for the sport. Most fans that I know are already “fed up” with some saying, “Goodbye” to MLB baseball already. I wish that each side could send in 3 men to discuss the proposals then find the best compromises to reach an agreement. Right now, I think that there are too many “chefs in the kitchen”. So when even 1 of them is unhappy with a part of the offer, the marching stops for everyone.
…the Blues are marching behind a different set of statistical leaders. I doubt that even the Biggest Blues fans would have listed—Kyrou, Tarasenko, Buchnevich, Thomas & Barbashev as the top 5 point scorers for the Blues on Feb 28. Throughout the off-season, we were told that Vlady was being “shopped around”. Kyrou, Thomas & Barbashev have elevated their game the season. The baton has been passed to these new leaders. Pavel Buchnevich was yet another wise acquisition for the Blues.
…Marching to a deafening slow paced tune is the Mizzou basketball offense. It’s almost impossible not to contrast the comparison of SLU to Mizzou. The Tigers lost their point guard Xavier Pinson to the portal after last season. He moved on to LSU. Mizzou’s offense has really suffered. It was really apparent yesterday when Pinson directed the LSU Tigers over MU 75-55. Mizzou couldn’t get the ball down the court quick enough to get into their “regular” offense. Jarron Coleman, who had been moved by Coach Martin, from wing to point guard this year after Pinson’s departure seemed to be overwhelmed by the pressure. Martin then was forced to send back additional players to help him get the ball in the front court patiently….too patiently…it took MU too long for to get into their offensive sets. The 0.8 assist to turnover ratio for MU ranks second to last in the conference so this isn’t new. I’m not alone…a national NCAA basketball writer wrote that there are 2 coaches in the SEC on red-hot seats — Tom Crean at Georgia and Cuonzo Martin at Mizzou.
.…The march to finding an agreement between the MLB/MLBPA inches along daily. Apparently, these players & owners think that the fans OWE them the opportunity to watch the sport. According to a recent Harris Poll, baseball’s popularity has fallen more than any sport in the past 25 years. Kids aren’t watching it, and it wouldn’t be surprising if baseball wasn’t a top-five sport in 2039.
…Since the Rams departed, sometimes StL seems overlooked with respect to the talented football players being produced here. This past season, STL players marched as leaders on some of the best teams. Running back, Hasan Haskins(Eureka HS) starred for the Michigan Wolverines. Jameson Williams, WR, transferred from Ohio State to Alabama and is expected to be a 1st round pick by the NFL played for Cardinal Ritter Prep. Vianney Grad Kyren Williams starred as a running back for Notre Dame. I’m sure that there are others…probably lineman.
…St Louis U offense has been marching to a well paced tune set by the engineer, Yuri Collins. Currently Yuri leads not just Billikens, or the conference, but he leads the nation in assists with 232. His average of 8.1 ast/g is behind the national leader @ 8.2. Yuri has done this while extending his own shooting game. His game has grown! In 2019-20, it was 171 assists& 167 pts. 1920-21 in just 21 games, he piled up 116 assists & 5.1 ppg. Yuri has continued to add offense to his game. His medium range jumper was a thing of beauty in the last game—perfect form. Yuri has learned to drive to the basket, challenge the big men by somehow using his body to shield the ball while getting off his shot.
….Yuri continues to march faster while some of his teammates are struggling to do so. The 2 centers, except for rare occasions, have been very limited in scoring other than on slick passes from Yuri when they dunk the ball. However, in the last game, Francis Okoro was his best-23 pts, 15 rebounds. The Bills badly need that type of inside play.
……The wing players of Fred Thatch, Gibson Jimerson, Jordan Nesbitt seem to march at different tunes….sometimes fast…sometimes OK…sometimes almost marching in “Place”. Two of the 3 need to be “on” for the Bills to succeed. The season long injury to JaVonte Perkins continues to haunt Coach Ford. Perkins averaged 17 ppg last season! The Bills need his consistent scoring.
….Long viewed as marching at double-time in funding most, if not all the other sports save mens basketball, NCAA football is marching slower. For the 7th straight season, NCAA Football attendance has dropped nationally. In 2021, it was down 15%, more than 7,000 fans/game. While the SEC still leads the country in attendance @ 72,195 fan/game, even their attendance has dropped. While it was minimal (528 fans/game), it was the lowest average attendance since 1999. 9 of the 14 teams marched at a slower pace last year. Even Georgia, the national champion, fell a tiny bit. Even S.Carolina, who moved from a 4-8 season to 7-6 season this year fell 8,000 fans/game. If this dangerous trend continues, entire athletic programs will be mandated to march much, much slower.
….Thanks for the read! That brings our march to an end. Please feel free to react on Facebook or by sending me your thoughts through email or messenger. If you’d like to “catch up”, go to http://www.bobryansportsblog.com .

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