Ian is a freelance writer, editor, and podcaster. He currently writes for Awful Announcing, contributes baseball and football analysis on Asheville's WISE Sports Radio, and podcasts for The Podcass. During 12 years in sportswriting, Ian has covered MLB, NFL, sports media, and pop culture. He loves Michigan and Detroit sports. Twitter: @iancass
It’s a slow time in the NFL with training camps set to open during the next seven to 10 days. So we began our WISE Sports Radio segment with some baseball talk, thanks to the Toronto Blue Jays’ surprising midseason firing of manager Charlie Montoyo.
On the football side, most of the news is off the field with Brett Favre continuing to be named in a welfare fraud lawsuit against the former governor of Mississippi, Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder avoiding a House Oversight Committee subpoena, and the Pittsburgh Steelers taking a big payday from a new corporate sponsor for their stadium.
After a week off for the July 4 holiday, we’re back on WISE Sports Radio with some NFL and movie talk mixed in with our usual baseball chatter.
The Carolina Panthers get Baker Mayfield after waiting until the Cleveland Browns couldn’t wait to trade him any longer. Are the Baltimore Orioles on the rise? Which players were snubbed from the 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game rosters? And a quick review of Thor: Love and Thunder. (Longer version here, if interested.)
“Your ancestors called it magic, but you call it science,” Thor said to Jane Foster in Marvel’s first Thor movie (2011). “I come from a land where they are one and the same.”
Whatever it’s called, the magic is gone. At least for the God of Thunder’s run under director Taika Waititi.
Thor: Love and Thunder has some beautiful visuals, creative set pieces, and compelling character arcs, especially for Natalie Portman’s Foster. But the story trying to hold them all together is too weak to build a satisfying film that ranks among the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What makes this so disappointing is that Waititi’s previous Thor film, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, was such a refreshing change of direction from the other Marvel movies with its fast pace, outlandish color palette, and bold designs influenced by legendary artists like Jack Kirby, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Moebius. (The new wave soundtrack by Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh added to the alien atmosphere.)
Deshaun Watson has been facing trouble for quite a while with 24 civil lawsuits (20 now settled) and a likely season-long suspension from the NFL. But his former team, the Houston Texans, might still have to answer for enabling the sexual misconduct allegations resulting from his “massages.”
On WISE Sports Radio, Pat Ryan, Mike Gore, and I discuss the Texans getting sued, Baker Mayfield saying he and the Cleveland Browns have moved on, and Washington Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin getting a top-10 salary for his position.
We’re back on WISE Sports Radio after a week off due to Pat Ryan not feeling well and technical difficulties at the radio station. And Major League Baseball provided plenty to talk about from the past week.
The Angels and Mariners threw down in a big brawl. Bryce Harper suffers a broken thumb that could cost the Phillies a playoff spot. Aaron Judge’s bet on himself is leading toward a major payday. And Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta after leaving the Braves gets emotional.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson isn’t following the path of fellow NFL players negotiating for new contracts by not attending workouts and minicamps, or scrubbing all references to his team from social media. But will he go into the 2022 season on the final year of his contract and possibly risk a big payday?
That led off our WISE Sports Radio NFL segment. We also discussed a player who did get a new contract, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Marcus Davenport sacrificed his pinkie finger for his NFL career. Carolina Panthers receiver Robbie Anderson is somebody who maybe shouldn’t post every thought on Twitter.
After a rough start to the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves have won 11 games in a row. That hot streak has them right back in the NL East race and could bode well for another postseason run.
Since the Braves are the “local” MLB team for Asheville, that led off our weekly WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. Pat Ryan, Charlie Metcalf, and I also discussed a baffling decision by Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa, how Walker Buehler’s elbow injury affects the Los Angeles Dodgers, and umpire Angel Hernandez appealing his lawsuit against MLB.
Our WISE Sports Radio baseball segment had a fresh voice this week with newly retired Western Carolina baseball coach Bobby Moranda co-hosting with Pat Ryan. I tried very hard to make sure I didn’t say anything that could be easily dismissed by someone who’s coached athletes that have actually played Major League Baseball.
We had a lot of fun discussing Max Scherzer’s latest injury, the struggling Los Angeles Angels, Miguel Andujar asking the New York Yankees to trade him, division leaders that could face a challenge, and the Texas Rangers calling up outfielder Steele Walker.
Thursday’s WISE Sports Radio segment is typically NFL-focused, but there was one baseball story we didn’t get to touch on with Monday’s holiday. So we discussed Tommy Pham slapping Joc Pederson over a fantasy football dispute, which might end up being the most absurd sports story of 2022.
On to the NFL, Pat Ryan, Mike Gore, and I cover Ryan Fitzpatrick retiring after a 17-season career, the management style of Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, Marion Barber III passing away, and Tom Brady teases Josh Allen.
The upcoming 2022 season will be an important one for the Carolina Panthers with head coach Matt Rhule’s job likely at stake. The team’s quarterback play will be a major factor in success or failure, and Sam Darnold isn’t inspiring much confidence. Will rookie Matt Corral be the future answer?
On WISE Sports Radio, Pat Ryan, Mike Gore, and I discuss the Panthers’ QB situation along with Colin Kaepernick working out for the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the NFL, Baker Mayfield’s trade status, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ new general manager.