Dwight Howard Had an Awkward Start to Free Agency

1 week ago 11

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: Dwight Howard's deleted tweet, a bogus call gives Purdue a loss against Minnesota and more.

Dwight Howard

More than 60 years ago, scientists and engineers started the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Project at MIT to explore the capabilities of computers as “active partners” to human designers and creating a future of “human-computer symbiosis.” Their work led to, among other things, the first computer screenshots, and while the heavy majority of computers didn’t have built-in functionality to capture screenshots until the 1990s, it was the first step toward a technology used by hundreds of millions people across the world every day.

Sixty years later, we can thank the CAD team for laying the groundwork of an instrument that makes Twitter’s “Delete Tweet” button largely irrelevant.

Under the impression he was offered a one-year, $3 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers for a second season, Howard said he was remaining in Los Angeles. Howard wasn’t offered a deal, therefore couldn’t accept a deal.

“However, sources within the organization are adamant that a formal offer was never made,” Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reported, “maintaining that dialogue was merely a ‘deal concept.’ Howard thought if he agreed to the ‘deal concept’ that it was a done deal, sources said. He was forced to delete his tweet.”

Over the next couple hours, Howard was courted by Philadelphia 76ers’ new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey (the Houston Rockets’ former general manager who signed Howard in 2013) and Joel Embiid, and he eventually signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal.

Elsewhere in NBA free agency: Grading Atlanta’s three-year deal with Danilo Gallinari … Joe Harris signed a $75-million deal with the Brooklyn Nets … Marcus Morris cashed in with the Clippers … The Rockets rolled the dice with a $41-million deal for Christian Wood.

New Rule in College Football

On Purdue’s football schedule, it shows “L, 31–34” in the section for their Week 12 trip to Minnesota on Friday night. It shows the same result on Minnesota’s schedule and in every box score, game story, and record book.

Ignore Purdue’s schedule, Minnesota’s schedule and all the box scores, game stories, and record books. Purdue won the game, 38–34, to reach 3–1 while the Gophers fell to 1–4 one year after winning 11 games.

After officials cost Purdue with a phantom offensive pass interference call in the final minute that negated a go-ahead (and likely game-winning) touchdown, we need a new rule in college football. Pass interference penalties shouldn’t be reviewable. Not in college football, not in the NFL, not anywhere for any reason. However, boneheaded, inexcusable calls should be reversed by a booth official with access to functioning human eyes.

Let’s call him the “WTF Official.” When the WTF Official spots a WTF flag, he buzzes the referee to change the call. On Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium, the WTF Official would’ve buzzed the referee, who would’ve reversed the call, awarded Purdue the touchdown, and apologized to both teams for sullying an entertaining game with a WTF call.

We also need a rule that allows victimized teams to voice their displeasure in postgame press conferences without fear of fine or suspension. We deserve Jeff Brohm’s real opinion, not the watered-down version:

“I wish I could comment what I really think," Brohm said after the game. "We send calls in [to the Big Ten], and sometimes they agree with us, sometimes they don't. I don't have the replay and can see it. I just know there was a touchdown [Minnesota] caught earlier in the game, about the same area on the slot receiver, he gave a little nudge and they didn't call that.”

FCFL

Four years ago, Austin Ekeler was an unknown senior running back at an unknown Division II school in Colorado. Now, he’s a $24 million NFLer with 23 career touchdowns and working with Richard Sherman, Mike Tyson, Marshawn Lynch and others in a fan-controlled football league.

Last week, Ekeler joined Shermam, Tyson, Lynch and other stars as team owners in the new Fan Controlled Football League, which allows fans to pick team logos, make personnel decisions, and call plays in real time. As legalized sports betting sweeps the country, this might be the next step in fan empowerment.

Odds & Ends

The best Hail Mary’s in NFL history … Under-the-radar candidates to replace Will Muschamp as South Carolina head coach … College Football Playoff Rankings prediction before this weekend’s games … How to fix your losing NFL franchise … Chris Bosh talked about how he found out LeBron was leaving Miami … Pat Forde breaks down the college football hot seat … Ranking the current quarterback situations for all 127 FBS teams … Give this professor tenure and a fat raise.

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