Not a good defence, man
Some people are allowed to put themselves above the team, it seems
The only WAR I care about is the one that tells me who's a good baseball player and who isn't. But as sports fans, we find ourselves surrounded by a liberal dose of war metaphors. We had to battle to get that win, Player X is a real warrior, our roster is decimated by injuries. This vocabulary is pretty baked into sports culture, and is reinforced by seemingly innocuous rituals like playing the national anthem before games, Opening Day flyovers, and cringe-inducing camo uniforms.
Not unlike the corporate world, a decision is made by the decision-makers, and everybody in the organization gets their "marching orders" and is expected to "fall in line" to ensure that everybody is working "in lockstep.” Being aligned and moving in the same direction is a tried-and-true way toward organizational success, and when somebody deviates from that team alignment, the team will typically police itself and get the deviating player aligned.
That's how it works, most of the time.
Recently, the Philadelphia Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys for their warmup skate and used sticks wrapped in rainbow tape. One notable exception was assistant captain Ivan Provorov, who opted to skip the skate, citing his faith. The team didn't censure the player and I don't expect that they will. His retread of a head coach didn't bench him, and didn't tell the media that the team would handle this matter internally and straighten it out (pardon the pun).
This is not an on-ice matter, but even still, it's an organization-wide initiative. In recent years, the Flyers and NHL at large have become more engaged with the LGBTQ2S+ community, and that's not likely to change. So why is this treated any differently? Why does the head coach have the discretion to let it slide? My best guess is that even though support for Pride is part of the company line, it's not necessarily something that the club's ownership or front office actively chose for themselves. Most of the people who own and run sports clubs skew toward retrogressive values, so I'm sure they can let Provorov's lack of participation — essentially an act of insubordination — slide because it's convenient for them to do so.
Today is January 18, i.e., 1/18, so all today’s questions will have something to do with 1s and/or 18s and/or and/or 2018, and maybe even the span between 2001 and 2018. Enjoy! (Or don’t, we’re not your dads!)
In the two rounds of the 2018 NBA Entry Draft, five drafted players had a “Jr.” after their names, one player had a “III,” and one player had a “IV.” Name all seven.
Of the 18 goalies who played/have played in the most (regular season) NHL games, 11 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Every one of the remaining seven have represented their country at the Olympics. Name at least five of them.
Of the 18 quarterbacks who passed/have passed for the most (regular season) NFL yards, 16 spent their entire careers wearing the same number. Name the two QBs who didn’t.
Since the year 2000 — and not including the abbreviated 2020 season — seven pitchers have led their league in wins with a total less than 18. Name at least four of them.
Answers from last week’s issue
Aside from the late, great Tony Fernandez, who wore #1 for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1983-1990, again in 1993, 1998, 1999, and in 2001, name at least three players who have worn #1 for Toronto and made at least one All-Star appearance over the course of their careers (not necessarily with Toronto).
Orlando Hudson, Mickey Morandini, Aledmys Díaz, and Whit Merrifield have all made All-Star teams and worn #1 for Toronto. None of them made All-Star teams while playing for the Blue Jays, but Merrifield can still do it.
According to Basketball Reference, 21 different NBA players have worn #11 this season. Who are the only two to have worn #1 at a previous point in their careers?
Bruce Brown Jr., who wore #1 with the Nets, and John Wall, who wore #1 with the Rockets, are the droids we’re looking for.
Among non-active or retired NFL players who primarily wore #1 or #11 over the course of their careers, Larry Fitzgerald has made the most Pro Bowl appearances, with — wait for it — 11. What player is at the top of the list among active NFL players?
Among players who have mainly worn #1 or #11 during their careers, Quintorris Lopez “Julio” Jones Jr. leads all active NFL players with seven Pro Bowl selections.
Between the 2001-02 season and the 2011-12 season, 18 NHL players scored 250+ regular season goals. Of those 18 players, two wore #11 at least once. Who are they?
Daniel Alfredsson wore #11 for his entire 18-year career, and Olli Jokinen (pictured, above) wore the number for six games with the Maple Leafs in his final NHL season.
RIP Pirates legend Frank Thomas and Gino Odjick, the 13th indigenous player in NHL history, and league leader in penalty minutes in 1996-97.
Many thanks to Christian Koloko for being named his name and to you for being named your name, unless your name is Brook Lopez because ripping off a guy’s headband isn’t just a “hostile act,” it’s an act of war.
Until next week, be the Ezequiel Carrera you wish to see in the world.