Charles Barkley had the hottest take from March 8-14.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes. This time around, we’re breaking down the hottest takes from March 8-14.

5. Mike Francesa says the Beckham trade is the “best thing that could happen to Giants”: The New York Giants’ trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns was met with much rejoicing from Browns fans (so much so that someone called 911 on their celebrating neighbor) and much lamentation from many New York fans and media. Even the sports books dropped the Giants’ Super Bowl odds (which already weren’t great) considerably. But, of course, WFAN host and noted Beckham critic Mike Francesa had the opposite take, claiming that the trade was the “best thing that could happen to Giants”:

Francesa went on to ridicule the Browns:

That also includes Francesa saying “When [Jeremy] Shockey was here, the Giants did nothing, when Beckham was here, the Giants did nothing,” conveniently ignoring that the Giants made the playoffs four times from 2002-07 while Shockey played there (winning the Super Bowl after the 2007 season, albeit after Shockey suffered a season-ending injury, but he was still a key contributor to that team), that they made the playoffs in 2016 with Beckham, and that a lot of their issues aren’t necessarily about Beckham. But Francesa was thrilled that the Giants signed…the older and less-productive Golden Tate.

Keep on keeping on, Mike.

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Phil Mushnick bashes Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.: Speaking of cranky old New York media members, let’s check in with Phil Mushnick of The New York Post. In a column mostly complaining about Urban Meyer and James Dolan, Mushnick decided he needed to throw some shots at Beckham and Brown as well:

Then there are the advertising and marketing executives who continue to degrade sports by rewarding the most conspicuously attention-starved, only-about-me selfish. The current harvest includes Odell Beckham Jr., an instant TV endorsement darling, and Antonio Brown, another TV endorsement — and police — magnet.

Both, while extremely talented, were driven to steadily undermine their teams, coaches and clubs’ patrons while bestowed steady, second-income commercial reward. To the spoilers go the spoils.

For several seasons, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” opened with video of Beckham and Brown showboating, as if that’s worthy of our extra attention and admiration. Those at the wheel had no idea they were being gamed by those eager to wreck the game? Or they just didn’t care?

It’s not the first time Mushnick has ranted about celebrations, or about Brown (whose end-zone twerking he once called “a vulgar groin-thrusting TD dance that mimed copulation” and “a repugnant act”), or about Beckham. But it’s lame that he’s still trotting out these lines.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

3. Don Cherry is still mad about the Hurricanes’ celebrations, saying  “Players hate this stuff”: Continuing on the cranky old man theme, 85-year-old Sportsnet analyst Don Cherry went after the Carolina Hurricanes’ celebrations a few weeks ago, calling them a “bunch of jerks.” That phrase was so good the Hurricanes turned it into a t-shirt. But weeks later, Cherry is still mad at them, as seen from this Coach’s Corner segment on Saturday’s Hockey Night In Canada:

“The players hate this here, by the way, they hate this stuff.”

…“I tried to say it but here at Sportsnet they think it’s nice, and do you know why they think it’s nice, it’s because they don’t know,” Cherry said making sure to sarcastically emphasize the last word nice. “They’ve never been in the pits, but I think as a player and I still think as a player.”

Adding: “They don’t know hockey and they think it’s lovely.”

It’s certainly more lovely than Cherry’s particular brand of commentary, which hasn’t been relevant in decades, if ever.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

2. Stephen A. Smith insists on continuing NFL drug testing, also thinks Redskins’ punter Tress Way started at quarterback: Stephen A. has a long tradition of complaining about marijuana, so it’s not exactly surprising that he was making a First Take argument that NFL players shouldn’t use it even in states where it’s legal, and that the league should continue its current testing procedures:

“I don’t want to watch an athlete high!” Yeah, that’s exactly how NFL players are using marijuana, not for pain relief but to be high during games. But speaking of poor performance, Smith made yet another NFL blunder this week, this time claiming that Redskins’ punter Tress Way started a game at quarterback for them in 2018.

Maybe it’s not the players who should “Stay off the weed!”

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Charles Barkley claims he could beat Candace Parker in basketball, or any woman in anything: “A woman can’t beat me in a sport”: Speaking of outrageous claims, let’s go to Turner Sports’ Charles Barkley on The Dan Patrick Show:

A transcription, via Fox Sports Radio’s Ed Black:

Barkley: A woman can’t beat me in a sport.

Patrick: In any sport?

Barkley: Any sport!

Patrick: Candace Parker would beat you one on one, Chuck.

Barkley: Dan, let’s raise some money for charity. I love working with Candace. She’s very talented, but a woman can’t beat me in a sport! Stop it! Candace Parker cannot beat me in basketball.

It would be great to see the 32-year-old Parker take down the 56-year-old Barkley in a modern-day Battle of the Sexes, and there’s no doubt in this corner that she’d win. But that’s not even the most outrageous claim here, as Barkley was once good at basketball, unlike most sports. “In any sport?” Have we forgotten how bad of a golfer Barkley is, and how many LPGA players could beat him? Or how terrible his baseball-throwing form is? And while he loves watching hockey, here’s thinking most if not all professional women’s hockey players could skate rings around him. And it goes on from there. Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur had the best response to this:

Indeed.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Hot Take Standings:

Jason Whitlock – Hall of Fame
Stephen A. Smith – 236
Skip Bayless – 200
Phil Mushnick – 177
Colin Cowherd – 76
Rob Parker – 59
Doug Gottlieb – 53
Shannon Sharpe – 35
Albert Breer – 29
Dan Shaughnessy – 26
Don Cherry – 25
Ray Lewis – 25
Charles Barkley – 24
Darren Rovell – 20
Danny Kanell – 20
Britt McHenry – 20
JT The Brick – 20
Dan Dakich – 18
Michael DeCourcy – 16
Jason McIntyre – 16
Andy Benoit – 15
Tony Massarotti – 15
Ben Maller – 15
Mike Francesa – 14
Bill Plaschke – 14
Jason Smith – 13
Kirk Herbstreit – 13
Mike Felger – 13
The Sporting News – 13
Chris Broussard – 13
Rick Morrissey – 13
Michael Wilbon – 12
John Middlekauff – 11
Keith Olbermann – 11
Greg Gabriel – 10
Rob Rossi – 10
Bill James – 10
Joe Simpson – 10
Bob Brookover – 10
Jeremy Roenick – 10
Berry Tramel – 10
Kristine Leahy – 10
Graham Couch – 9
Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9
Ross Tucker – 9
Ryen Russillo – 9
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bob Ford – 8
John Feinstein – 8
Steve Simmons – 8
Frank Isola – 8
Michael Rapaport – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Howard Eskin – 7
Trent Dilfer – 7
Damien Cox – 7
Mike Bianchi – 7
Cris Carter – 7
Pat Forde – 7
Charley Casserly – 6
The Wall Street Journal – 6
Pat Leonard – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Paul Sullivan – 5
Dan Wolken – 5
Dan Clark  – 5
Paul Daugherty  – 5
Michael Kay – 5
Tom Jones – 5
Max Kellerman – 5
Mark Readings – 5
Neil Warnock – 5
Patrick Bet-David – 5
Jared Stillman – 5
Jen Rainwater – 5
Matt Walsh – 5
Jon Steinberg – 5
Bill Welt – 5
Jack Todd – 5
Aaron Murray – 5
Chris Childers – 5
Mark Knight – 5
The Herald Sun – 5
David Booth – 5
Tom Nichols – 5
Keith Hernandez – 5
Bill O’Reilly – 5
Brandel Chamblee – 5
Michael McCarthy – 5
Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5
Dennis Dodd – 5
Rich Lowry – 5
Chris Reed – 5
The San Diego Union-Tribune – 5
David Hookstead – 5
Tomm Looney – 5
Alex Shaw – 5
Rick Reilly – 5
Randall Mell – 5
Ian O’Connor – 5
Michael Bamberger – 5
Bob Bubka – 5
Cathal Kelly – 5
Pete Prisco – 5
Bill Simons – 5
Christine Flowers – 5
Jason Lieser – 5
John Steigerwald – 5
Josh Peter – 5
Alexi Lalas – 5
John Moody – 5
Marni Soupcoff – 5
Ryan Rishaug – 5
Kurtis Larson – 5
Rod Watson – 5
Chuck Modiano – 5
Joel Klatt – 5
Steve Buffery – 5
Joe Morgan – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
John McGrath – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Cody McDavis – 4
The New York Times – 4
Dan Crenshaw – 4
Mike Vaccaro – 4
Mike Klis – 4
Richard Keys – 4
Peter King – 4
Bruce Levine – 4
Malcolm Gladwell – 4
That’s Kappy – 4
Mitchell Nathanson – 4
The New York Daily News – 4
“Big” Jim Murray – 4
Jeff Diamond – 4
Marc Berman – 4
Evan Roberts – 4
Corbin Smith – 4
DJ Siddiqi – 4
The Express – 4
Mark Kiszla – 4
Greg Witter – 4
Myron Medcalf – 4
Bill Polian – 4
MJ Franklin – 4
Alex Reimer – 4
Joan Vennochi – 4
Matt Yglesias – 4
Bill Livingston – 4
Michael Irvin – 4
Shawn Windsor – 4
Brock Huard – 4
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
USA Today – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Carl Steward  – 3
Jerry Coleman – 3
Jon Johnson  – 3
Trey Wingo – 3
Lance Zierlein – 3
Michael Salfino – 3
Tom Van Riper – 3
Andy Katz – 3
Tony La Russa  – 3
Jim Brady – 3
Bill Simmons – 3
Mark Teixeira – 3
Wally Hall – 3
Damien Woody – 3
Victor Cruz – 3
Andrew Walker – 3
Jim Kaat – 3
Jason Gay – 3
Steven J. Brams – 3
Aaron Isaksen – 3
Will Muschamp – 3
Buck Lanford – 3
Stan Fischler – 3
Sonnie Wooden – 3
Chris Jones – 3
Kelly Smith – 3
Reggie Miller – 3
Mark Madden – 3
Larry Brooks – 3
Dan Canova – 3
Steve Rosenbloom – 3
Stephen Jackson – 3
Mike Sando – 3
Walt Borla – 3
Nick Cafardo – 3
Ice Cube – 3
Justin Peters – 3
Elise Finch – 3
Kevin Skiver – 3
David Bahnsen – 3
Harold Reynolds – 3
Kevin Reynolds – 3
Mike Sheahan – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
The Palm Beach Post – 2
Karl Ravech – 2
Mike Florio – 2
Dari Nowkah – 2
Ella Dorsey – 2
The Hill – 2
John Kindt – 2
Bill Madden – 2
Tony Gonzalez – 2
Mike Greenberg – 2
Grant Paulsen – 2
Jeff Ermann – 2
Ed Werder – 2
Ben Mulroney – 2
Ron Cook – 2
Brian Kenny – 2
Barrett Sallee – 2
Craig Calcaterra – 2
Gareth Wheeler – 2
John Cornyn – 2
Tony Dungy – 2
Bruce Jenkins – 2
Chris Wesseling – 2
Seth Greenberg – 2
Doug Smith – 2
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

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

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.