The Tony Rizzo take on Tyreek Hill topped the March 15-21 hot takes.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes. This time around, we’re breaking down the hottest takes from March 15-21.

5. Don Cherry criticizes William Nylander and Oskar Lindblom for talking to each other, says “They’re having a little love-fest, they look like they’re going to kiss each other”:ย After weeks of complaining about the Carolina Hurricanes’ supposedly attention-seeking celebrations (funny, considering that his whole career defines “attention-seeking”), Sportsnet’s Don Cherry has moved on to another dumb complaint. This week onย Hockey Night In Canada, while dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day, Cherry decided to criticize the Toronto Maple Leafs’ William Nylander and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom for talking to each other ahead of a faceoff, and did so in a problematic way:

First off, players talking to each opponents is nothing new in hockey or in countless other sports (baseball regularly sees runners chatting with infielders and hitters chatting with catchers, basketball sees plenty of back-and-forth talk, etc), and it’s unclear why Cherry decided to go after these guys. Maybe them being Swedish was part of it, as Cherry’s long been known for his complaints about European players. But beyond that, the tone associated with “they look like they’re going to kiss each other” felt real homophobic. It’s yet another bad look for the 85-year-old Cherry, and yet another reason to question why he still has a high-profile analysis job.

Rating: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

4. Doug Russell says big contracts for Mike Trout and others is “why beer costs $12 at the ballpark:”ย Hey Google, show me a Wisconsin radio host who doesn’t understand economics:

Linking player contracts directly to concession prices is absurd in general; concession prices are about how much money owners can get out of fans and how much fans will be willing to pay, while player contracts are about how much money players can get out of the revenues owners are making (most of which aren’t from the concessions). But Trout is a particularly bad case in point to cite here, as Angels Stadium has $4.50 16-ounce beers; owner Arte Moreno cut those prices in his first act as owner 16 years ago, and hasn’t raised them since. So, no, Mike Trout’s new contract doesn’t have much to do with the price of beer.

Rating: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

3. Colin Cowherd says Mike Trout will be “rich and irrelevant” with the Angels, while Stephen A. Smith forgets who’s managing the Angels: Further dumb takes on the Trout contract came from a pair of national sports personalities who almost never talk baseball. First, there’s FS1’s Colin Cowherd, who argued that Trout will be “rich and irrelevant” for choosing to commit to the Angels:

Here’s that clip:

Players really can’t win with some of these pundits; if they head to a talented team in free agency, they’re criticized for not having “loyalty” or just “chasing rings,” and if they stick with the team they’re with, they’re bashed for being “just about the money.”

But beyond that, Trout is plenty relevant, much more so than Cowherd. Cowherd’s move to FS1 has seen a dramatic decrease in his national profile, and it’s notable that The Herd on Tuesday (the day he made these remarks) didn’t make the top 150 cable programs for that day. The only FS1 show to even get in those ratings that day was Undisputed, at 131st overall with a 0.07 rating in the keydemographic of viewers 18-49, and 138,000 viewers overall. So Cowherd’s show was seen by less people than such quality programming as Lifetime’sย Married At First Sight: Love Unlocked, Science Channel’sย Secrets of the Lost discussion of Stonehenge, and ESPN2’s coverage of a Arkansas-Providence NIT game. Who’s the “rich and irrelevant” figure in the Los Angeles area again?

Meanwhile, over on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith once again displayed his tremendous knowledge of sports, talking with colleague Jeff Passan about the Trout contract and claiming that Mike Scioscia (who stepped down after the 2018 season) was still managing the Angels:

Rating: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ for both.

2. Jeff Schultz argues that LSU “brought evidence of the sport’s seedy underbelly with them,” and that Yale’s involvement in the admissions scandal was “cute Ivy-level cheating”:ย With the LSU Tigers in the NCAA tournament despite suspending head coach Will Wade after a Yahoo report of his comments on a FBI wiretap that appeared to indicate him referencing a financial offer to a prospect, plenty of media have lined up to defend “amateurism” and jump all over LSU as supposed cheaters. Criticizing Wade for allegedly breaking NCAA rules can be a defensible take, but the takes have gotten much hotter than that, with Jeff Schultz (formerly of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, now with The Athletic) providing one of the most heated.

Schultz argued that LSU brought the sport’s “seedy underbelly” with them into the tournament (despite Wade not being with the team and despite no players being suspended at this point). Even more heatedly, he claimed the Tigers were the ones “central to a federal corruption investigation” in first-round matchup with Yale. Yale was implicated in the much more serious admissions scandal, which saw unqualified people get into schools instead of deserving athletic prospects thanks to bribes, and which actually led to federal indictments (including of long-time Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith, who resigned last November after 24 years in charge of the team), but according to Schultz, that’s just “cute Ivy-level cheating“:

From his piece:

No early tournament game drips with irony more than LSU-Yale. One program is central to a federal corruption investigation. The other doesnโ€™t even give athletic scholarships. (OK โ€” a former Yale womenโ€™s soccer coach was nabbed in the recent college tuition scandal for allegedly helping wealthy and privileged youths falsify admission papers. But thatโ€™s, like, cute Ivy-level cheating.)

LSU players say they are accustomed to dealing with distractions. But being viewed as a microcosm of whatโ€™s wrong with college athletics would seem to be more difficult to process emotionally than dealing with a losing streak or an injury.

Uh huh. Allegedly offering some of the incredible money made off college basketball to a player is “what’s wrong with college athletics,” not taking bribes to let unqualified students (some who never even played the sports in question competitively) beat out more deserving candidates. Sure.

Rating: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

1. Tony Rizzo says “We got beaten up when we were kids like it was nothing” in reference to battery investigation involving Tyreek Hill: Police are investigating two separate instances of alleged battery at Kansas City Chiefs’ receiver Tyreek Hill’s residence, with those allegations reportedly revolving around Hill’s three-year-old son’s broken arm. Amazingly, that led to ESPN 850 Cleveland’s Tony Rizzo (also known as the guy who wanted to fight Browns’ fans planning an 0-16 parade, the “made man” who feuded with Joe Thomas and Dan Le Batard, and one of those who was there for Sabrina Parr’s “lean and the molly” comments) downplaying the severity of this:

“If it was the 70s, everybody would be in jail. Everybody. Kids got beaten up, we got beaten up when we were kids like it was nothing. Nothing. No one even blinked an eye.” “Broken arms by your parents?” “Boy, if I’d caught that wooden spoon or that frypan the wrong way, it might have been. I ain’t getting in between nobody and their kids.”

Yes, standards have changed since the 70s, but that sounds awful even for that era, and it’s unfortunate that Rizzo had to deal with that growing up. But that doesn’t justify downplaying this, or saying “I ain’t getting in between nobody and their kids.” We don’t know the full circumstances of the Hill investigation yet; no charges have been filed, and it’s not clear if Hill himself was involved in one or both incidents. But downplaying a three-year-old’s broken arm and a police investigation because “we got beaten up when we were kids like it was nothing” is a pretty hot take.

Rating: ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock โ€“ย Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith โ€“ 239
Skip Bayless โ€“ 200
Phil Mushnick โ€“ 177
Colin Cowherd โ€“ 79
Rob Parker โ€“ 59
Doug Gottlieb โ€“ 53
Shannon Sharpe โ€“ 35
Albert Breer โ€“ 29
Don Cherry โ€“ 27
Dan Shaughnessy โ€“ 26
Ray Lewis โ€“ 25
Charles Barkley โ€“ 24
Darren Rovell โ€“ 20
Danny Kanell โ€“ 20
Britt McHenry โ€“ 20
JT The Brick โ€“ 20
Dan Dakich โ€“ 18
Michael DeCourcy โ€“ 16
Jason McIntyre โ€“ 16
Andy Benoit โ€“ 15
Tony Massarotti โ€“ 15
Ben Maller โ€“ 15
Mike Francesa โ€“ 14
Bill Plaschke โ€“ 14
Jason Smith โ€“ 13
Kirk Herbstreit โ€“ 13
Mike Felger โ€“ 13
The Sporting News โ€“ 13
Chris Broussard โ€“ 13
Rick Morrissey โ€“ 13
Michael Wilbon โ€“ 12
John Middlekauff โ€“ 11
Keith Olbermann โ€“ 11
Greg Gabriel โ€“ 10
Rob Rossi โ€“ 10
Bill James โ€“ 10
Joe Simpson โ€“ 10
Bob Brookover โ€“ 10
Jeremy Roenick โ€“ 10
Berry Tramel โ€“ 10
Kristine Leahy โ€“ 10
Graham Couch โ€“ 9
Chris โ€œMad Dogโ€ Russo โ€“ 9
Ross Tucker โ€“ 9
Ryen Russillo โ€“ 9
Garth Crooks โ€“ 9
C.J. Nitkowski โ€“ 9
Bob Ford โ€“ 8
John Feinstein โ€“ 8
Steve Simmons โ€“ 8
Frank Isola โ€“ 8
Michael Rapaport โ€“ 8
Bart Hubbuch โ€“ 8
Howard Eskin โ€“ 7
Trent Dilfer โ€“ 7
Damien Cox โ€“ 7
Mike Bianchi โ€“ 7
Cris Carter โ€“ 7
Pat Forde โ€“ 7
Charley Casserly โ€“ 6
The Wall Street Journal โ€“ 6
Pat Leonard โ€“ 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen โ€“ 6
Terry Bradshaw โ€“ 6
Greg A. Bedard โ€“ 6
Tony Rizzo โ€“ 5
Jeff Schultz โ€“ 5
Paul Sullivanย โ€“ 5
Dan Wolken โ€“ 5
Dan Clarkย ย โ€“ 5
Paul Daughertyย ย โ€“ 5
Michael Kayย โ€“ 5
Tom Jonesย โ€“ 5
Max Kellerman โ€“ 5
Mark Readingsย โ€“ 5
Neil Warnockย โ€“ 5
Patrick Bet-Davidย โ€“ 5
Jared Stillman โ€“ 5
Jen Rainwaterย โ€“ 5
Matt Walshย โ€“ 5
Jon Steinberg โ€“ 5
Bill Welt โ€“ 5
Jack Todd โ€“ 5
Aaron Murray โ€“ 5
Chris Childers โ€“ 5
Mark Knight โ€“ 5
The Herald Sun โ€“ 5
David Booth โ€“ 5
Tom Nichols โ€“ 5
Keith Hernandez โ€“ 5
Bill Oโ€™Reilly โ€“ 5
Brandel Chamblee โ€“ 5
Michael McCarthy โ€“ 5
Mike โ€œThe Reputation Doctorยฎโ€ Paul โ€“ 5
Dennis Dodd โ€“ 5
Rich Lowry โ€“ 5
Chris Reed โ€“ 5
The San Diego Union-Tribune โ€“ 5
David Hookstead โ€“ 5
Tomm Looney โ€“ 5
Alex Shaw โ€“ 5
Rick Reilly โ€“ 5
Randall Mell โ€“ 5
Ian Oโ€™Connor โ€“ 5
Michael Bamberger โ€“ 5
Bob Bubka โ€“ 5
Cathal Kelly โ€“ 5
Pete Prisco โ€“ 5
Bill Simons โ€“ 5
Christine Flowers โ€“ 5
Jason Lieser โ€“ 5
John Steigerwald โ€“ 5
Josh Peter โ€“ 5
Alexi Lalas โ€“ 5
John Moody โ€“ 5
Marni Soupcoff โ€“ 5
Ryan Rishaug โ€“ 5
Kurtis Larson โ€“ 5
Rod Watson โ€“ 5
Chuck Modiano โ€“ 5
Joel Klatt โ€“ 5
Steve Buffery โ€“ 5
Joe Morgan โ€“ 5
Nancy Armour โ€“ 5
Richard Justice โ€“ 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins โ€“ 5
Jesse Watters โ€“ 5
John McGrath โ€“ 5
Mike Sielski โ€“ 5
Gordon Monson โ€“ 5
Scott Fowler โ€“ 5
Terry Frei โ€“ 5
David Jones โ€“ 5
Sabrina Parr โ€“ 5
Abbey Mastracco โ€“ 5
Terry Cushman โ€“ 5
Rick Bozich โ€“ 5
Michael Oโ€™Doherty โ€“ 5
Simon Briggs โ€“ 5
Dan Wetzel โ€“ 5
Mike Parry โ€“ 5
Bob Ryan โ€“ 5
Robert Reed โ€“ 5
Pete Dougherty โ€“ 5
Dan Le Batard โ€“ 5
Marcus Hayes โ€“ 5
Kyle Turley โ€“ 5
Mike Ditka โ€“ 5
Erril Laborde โ€“ 5
Lowell Cohn โ€“ 5
Rosie DiManno โ€“ 5
Cody McDavisย โ€“ 4
The New York Timesย โ€“ 4
Dan Crenshawย โ€“ 4
Mike Vaccaroย โ€“ 4
Mike Klisย โ€“ 4
Richard Keysย โ€“ 4
Peter Kingย โ€“ 4
Bruce Levine โ€“ 4
Malcolm Gladwell โ€“ 4
Thatโ€™s Kappy โ€“ 4
Mitchell Nathanson โ€“ 4
The New York Daily Newsย โ€“ 4
โ€œBigโ€ Jim Murray โ€“ 4
Jeff Diamond โ€“ 4
Marc Berman โ€“ 4
Evan Roberts โ€“ 4
Corbin Smith โ€“ 4
DJ Siddiqi โ€“ 4
The Express โ€“ 4
Mark Kiszla โ€“ 4
Greg Witter โ€“ 4
Myron Medcalf โ€“ 4
Bill Polian โ€“ 4
MJ Franklin โ€“ 4
Alex Reimer โ€“ 4
Joan Vennochi โ€“ 4
Matt Yglesias โ€“ 4
Bill Livingston โ€“ 4
Michael Irvin โ€“ 4
Shawn Windsor โ€“ 4
Brock Huard โ€“ 4
Byron Tau โ€“ 4
Maggie Gray โ€“ 4
Michael Powell โ€“ 4
Mark Spector โ€“ 4
Chad Forbes โ€“ 4
Gary Myers โ€“ 4
Mark Schlereth โ€“ 4
Andy Gray โ€“ 4
David Fleming โ€“ 4
Jeff Pearlman โ€“ 4
Tony Grossi โ€“ 4
FanSided โ€“ 4
Tony Kornheiser โ€“ 4
USA Todayย โ€“ 4
Nathan Ruiz โ€“ 4
Doug Russell ย โ€“ 3
Carl Stewardย ย โ€“ 3
Jerry Colemanย โ€“ 3
Jon Johnsonย ย โ€“ 3
Trey Wingoย โ€“ 3
Lance Zierlein โ€“ 3
Michael Salfinoย โ€“ 3
Tom Van Riperย โ€“ 3
Andy Katzย โ€“ 3
Tony La Russaย  โ€“ 3
Jim Brady โ€“ 3
Bill Simmons โ€“ 3
Mark Teixeira โ€“ 3
Wally Hall โ€“ 3
Damien Woody โ€“ 3
Victor Cruz โ€“ 3
Andrew Walker โ€“ 3
Jim Kaat โ€“ 3
Jason Gay โ€“ 3
Steven J. Brams โ€“ 3
Aaron Isaksen โ€“ 3
Will Muschamp โ€“ 3
Buck Lanford โ€“ 3
Stan Fischler โ€“ 3
Sonnie Wooden โ€“ 3
Chris Jones โ€“ 3
Kelly Smith โ€“ 3
Reggie Miller โ€“ 3
Mark Madden โ€“ 3
Larry Brooks โ€“ 3
Dan Canova โ€“ 3
Steve Rosenbloom โ€“ 3
Stephen Jackson โ€“ 3
Mike Sando โ€“ 3
Walt Borla โ€“ 3
Nick Cafardo โ€“ 3
Ice Cube โ€“ 3
Justin Peters โ€“ 3
Elise Finch โ€“ 3
Kevin Skiver โ€“ 3
David Bahnsen โ€“ 3
Harold Reynolds โ€“ 3
Kevin Reynolds โ€“ 3
Mike Sheahan โ€“ 3
Steve Greenberg โ€“ 3
Matt Burke โ€“ 3
Malcolm Gladwell โ€“ 3
Mike Milbury โ€“ 3
Mac Engel โ€“ 3
Nick Kypreos โ€“ 3
Caron Butler โ€“ 3
Don Brennan โ€“ 3
Robert Tychkowski โ€“ 3
Mike Johnston โ€“ 3
Jeff Mans โ€“ 3
Joe Browne โ€“ 3
Mike Harrington โ€“ 3
Greg Mitchell โ€“ 3
The Palm Beach Postย โ€“ 2
Karl Ravechย โ€“ 2
Mike Florioย โ€“ 2
Dari Nowkahย โ€“ 2
Ella Dorseyย โ€“ 2
The Hillย โ€“ 2
John Kindtย โ€“ 2
Bill Maddenย โ€“ 2
Tony Gonzalezย โ€“ 2
Mike Greenberg โ€“ 2
Grant Paulsen โ€“ 2
Jeff Ermann โ€“ 2
Ed Werder โ€“ 2
Ben Mulroney โ€“ 2
Ron Cook โ€“ 2
Brian Kenny โ€“ 2
Barrett Sallee โ€“ 2
Craig Calcaterra โ€“ 2
Gareth Wheeler โ€“ 2
John Cornyn โ€“ 2
Tony Dungy โ€“ 2
Bruce Jenkins โ€“ 2
Chris Wesseling โ€“ 2
Seth Greenberg โ€“ 2
Doug Smith โ€“ 2
Newsweek โ€“ 2
Teddy Cutler โ€“ 2
Will Cain โ€“ 2
Bill Cowher โ€“ 2
Paul Finebaum โ€“ 2
Amin Elhassan โ€“ 2
Jim Henneman โ€“ 2
Mitch Lawrence โ€“ 2
Nick Wright โ€“ 2
Domonique Foxworth โ€“ 2
Gary Parrish โ€“ 2
Michael Farber โ€“ 2
Andy Furman โ€“ 2
Donovan McNabb โ€“ 2
Seth Davis โ€“ 2
Jon Heyman โ€“ 2
Jason La Canfora โ€“ 2
Booger McFarland โ€“ 2
Joe Schad โ€“ 2
Cork Gaines โ€“ 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me viaย e-mailย or onย Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.