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”:https://twitter.com/MikeFrancesa/status/1105622329269411840Francesa went on to ridicule the Browns:https://twitter.com/BackAftaThis/status/1106037396838191106That 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.https://twitter.com/BackAftaThis/status/1106397977805914112Keep 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:https://twitter.com/FirstTake/status/1104058172497637376″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.https://clips.clippit.tv/qkkzaw/360.mp4Maybe 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:https://twitter.com/bruce_arthur/status/1106271672120852480Indeed.Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥Hot Take Standings:Jason Whitlock – Hall of FameStephen A. Smith – 236Skip Bayless – 200Phil Mushnick – 177Colin Cowherd – 76Rob Parker – 59Doug Gottlieb – 53Shannon Sharpe – 35Albert Breer – 29Dan Shaughnessy – 26Don Cherry – 25Ray Lewis – 25Charles Barkley – 24Darren Rovell – 20Danny Kanell – 20Britt McHenry – 20JT The Brick – 20Dan Dakich – 18Michael DeCourcy – 16Jason McIntyre – 16Andy Benoit – 15Tony Massarotti – 15Ben Maller – 15Mike Francesa – 14Bill Plaschke – 14Jason Smith – 13Kirk Herbstreit – 13Mike Felger – 13The Sporting News – 13Chris Broussard – 13Rick Morrissey – 13Michael Wilbon – 12John Middlekauff – 11Keith Olbermann – 11Greg Gabriel – 10Rob Rossi – 10Bill James – 10Joe Simpson – 10Bob Brookover – 10Jeremy Roenick – 10Berry Tramel – 10Kristine Leahy – 10Graham Couch – 9Chris “Mad Dog” Russo – 9Ross Tucker – 9Ryen Russillo – 9Garth Crooks – 9C.J. Nitkowski – 9Bob Ford – 8John Feinstein – 8Steve Simmons – 8Frank Isola – 8Michael Rapaport – 8Bart Hubbuch – 8Howard Eskin – 7Trent Dilfer – 7Damien Cox – 7Mike Bianchi – 7Cris Carter – 7Pat Forde – 7Charley Casserly – 6The Wall Street Journal – 6Pat Leonard – 6Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6Terry Bradshaw – 6Greg A. Bedard – 6Paul Sullivan – 5Dan Wolken – 5Dan Clark – 5Paul Daugherty – 5Michael Kay – 5Tom Jones – 5Max Kellerman – 5Mark Readings – 5Neil Warnock – 5Patrick Bet-David – 5Jared Stillman – 5Jen Rainwater – 5Matt Walsh – 5Jon Steinberg – 5Bill Welt – 5Jack Todd – 5Aaron Murray – 5Chris Childers – 5Mark Knight – 5The Herald Sun – 5David Booth – 5Tom Nichols – 5Keith Hernandez – 5Bill O’Reilly – 5Brandel Chamblee – 5Michael McCarthy – 5Mike “The Reputation Doctor®” Paul – 5Dennis Dodd – 5Rich Lowry – 5Chris Reed – 5The San Diego Union-Tribune – 5David Hookstead – 5Tomm Looney – 5Alex Shaw – 5Rick Reilly – 5Randall Mell – 5Ian O’Connor – 5Michael Bamberger – 5Bob Bubka – 5Cathal Kelly – 5Pete Prisco – 5Bill Simons – 5Christine Flowers – 5Jason Lieser – 5John Steigerwald – 5Josh Peter – 5Alexi Lalas – 5John Moody – 5Marni Soupcoff – 5Ryan Rishaug – 5Kurtis Larson – 5Rod Watson – 5Chuck Modiano – 5Joel Klatt – 5Steve Buffery – 5Joe Morgan – 5Nancy Armour – 5Richard Justice – 5Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5Jesse Watters – 5John McGrath – 5Mike Sielski – 5Gordon Monson – 5Scott Fowler – 5Terry Frei – 5David Jones – 5Sabrina Parr – 5Abbey Mastracco – 5Terry Cushman – 5Rick Bozich – 5Michael O’Doherty – 5Simon Briggs – 5Dan Wetzel – 5Mike Parry – 5Bob Ryan – 5Robert Reed – 5Pete Dougherty – 5Dan Le Batard – 5Marcus Hayes – 5Kyle Turley – 5Mike Ditka – 5Erril Laborde – 5Lowell Cohn – 5Rosie DiManno – 5Cody McDavis – 4The New York Times – 4Dan Crenshaw – 4Mike Vaccaro – 4Mike Klis – 4Richard Keys – 4Peter King – 4Bruce Levine – 4Malcolm Gladwell – 4That’s Kappy – 4Mitchell Nathanson – 4The New York Daily News – 4“Big” Jim Murray – 4Jeff Diamond – 4Marc Berman – 4Evan Roberts – 4Corbin Smith – 4DJ Siddiqi – 4The Express – 4Mark Kiszla – 4Greg Witter – 4Myron Medcalf – 4Bill Polian – 4MJ Franklin – 4Alex Reimer – 4Joan Vennochi – 4Matt Yglesias – 4Bill Livingston – 4Michael Irvin – 4Shawn Windsor – 4Brock Huard – 4Byron Tau – 4Maggie Gray – 4Michael Powell – 4Mark Spector – 4Chad Forbes – 4Gary Myers – 4Mark Schlereth – 4Andy Gray – 4David Fleming – 4Jeff Pearlman – 4Tony Grossi – 4FanSided – 4Tony Kornheiser – 4USA Today – 4Nathan Ruiz – 4Carl Steward – 3Jerry Coleman – 3Jon Johnson – 3Trey Wingo – 3Lance Zierlein – 3Michael Salfino – 3Tom Van Riper – 3Andy Katz – 3Tony La Russa – 3Jim Brady – 3Bill Simmons – 3Mark Teixeira – 3Wally Hall – 3Damien Woody – 3Victor Cruz – 3Andrew Walker – 3Jim Kaat – 3Jason Gay – 3Steven J. Brams – 3Aaron Isaksen – 3Will Muschamp – 3Buck Lanford – 3Stan Fischler – 3Sonnie Wooden – 3Chris Jones – 3Kelly Smith – 3Reggie Miller – 3Mark Madden – 3Larry Brooks – 3Dan Canova – 3Steve Rosenbloom – 3Stephen Jackson – 3Mike Sando – 3Walt Borla – 3Nick Cafardo – 3Ice Cube – 3Justin Peters – 3Elise Finch – 3Kevin Skiver – 3David Bahnsen – 3Harold Reynolds – 3Kevin Reynolds – 3Mike Sheahan – 3Steve Greenberg – 3Matt Burke – 3Malcolm Gladwell – 3Mike Milbury – 3Mac Engel – 3Nick Kypreos – 3Caron Butler – 3Don Brennan – 3Robert Tychkowski – 3Mike Johnston – 3Jeff Mans – 3Joe Browne – 3Mike Harrington – 3Greg Mitchell – 3The Palm Beach Post – 2Karl Ravech – 2Mike Florio – 2Dari Nowkah – 2Ella Dorsey – 2The Hill – 2John Kindt – 2Bill Madden – 2Tony Gonzalez – 2Mike Greenberg – 2Grant Paulsen – 2Jeff Ermann – 2Ed Werder – 2Ben Mulroney – 2Ron Cook – 2Brian Kenny – 2Barrett Sallee – 2Craig Calcaterra – 2Gareth Wheeler – 2John Cornyn – 2Tony Dungy – 2Bruce Jenkins – 2Chris Wesseling – 2Seth Greenberg – 2Doug Smith – 2Newsweek – 2Teddy Cutler – 2Will Cain – 2Bill Cowher – 2Paul Finebaum – 2Amin Elhassan – 2Jim Henneman – 2Mitch Lawrence – 2Nick Wright – 2Domonique Foxworth – 2Gary Parrish – 2Michael Farber – 2Andy Furman – 2Donovan McNabb – 2Seth Davis – 2Jon Heyman – 2Jason La Canfora – 2Booger McFarland – 2Joe Schad – 2Cork Gaines – 2Thanks 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.