Hat on a Hat: Traverse City Pit Spitters

Eventually this series will stretch beyond Michigan but while we get it going, let’s show off the best of Michigan. For the second installment we head to Traverse City for the new college summer league team, the Traverse City Pit Spitters.

Formerly the Beach Bums, the West Michigan Whitecaps ownership group bought the team, moved it from the independent Frontier League to the Northwoods League and we have a fresh new start. And that means a fresh new logo.

Pit Spitters

 

Logo Quality: 7/10

I got very excited when I heard about the team and the name. I wanted this hat. The logo doesn’t disappoint. It’s fitting, it’s unique and fun. But I am interested in what kind of alternate logos they can come up with in the coming years. Some teams benefit big time from alternate logos and this could be that case.

Colors: 7/10

It was basically made for them. Black, red and green. It’s clean but, again, alternate caps could jump these scores.

Creativity: 8/10

The name is a winner, the logo is fitting and the concept is great. I knock a point because they didn’t go with my suggestion of the Grand Traverse Grape Vines but, whatev. I’m not bitter.

Wearability: 4/5

Black hats go with almost everything and the logo is perfect to get a nod from fans around Northern Michigan and then questions when out of the area. The best for minor league hats.

Overall: 26/35

It’s a must buy. I will have one by the end of the summer. A great debut for the new kid on the block. The new blood will work well in Traverse City this summer.

Traverse City Pit Spitters Store

 

All-Time “Hat on a Hat” Rankings

  1. Lansing Locos – 27
  2. Traverse City Pit Spitters – 26

Great Takes State NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is soon and I have spent my life reading mock drafts. Usually because the Lions were out of contention by the bye week and I wanted to see what there was to look forward to.

Well here is my first shot at what is going to happen this week. I went the full first round for everybody and then continued for just the Lions.

Round One

1-  Arizona Cardinals –

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

People say it’s a lock. I don’t get the insane push for the guy but hey, I’m not the one NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahomamaking the decision. He’s a fantastic player but he wouldn’t have been a Top 3 QB taken last year.

2- San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

This pick is crazy because Bosa seems like the least talked about Top 3 pick ever. He’s just been such a lock as the “first non-QB taken” since the beginning of the season that people don’t need to hype him up or knock him down. He’s just there. Take him.

3- New York Jets

Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

I would love to make some sort of scenario where he falls to the Lions. The Ringer had a mock where he did. He would be amazing. But he is so amazing. And that’s why even the Jets can’t fuck this up. Run to the podium.

4- Oakland Raiders

Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

Al Davis is gone but Mark Davis is still there so when they have a chance to take an athletic freak with an insane 40 time, they are going to do it. Also, a pass rusher is a major need so it works, even if it is a bit of a stretch.

5- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White, LB, LSU

The only difference between White and Devin Bush, is a last name and an inch of height. But the Bucs need a linebacker and White is the consensus best option (maybe not consensus because Bush is the man) so I send him to Tampa.

6- New York Giants

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

I actually wrote this in before I even put in the Tampa pick before them. It’s the move they should make. It’s the player they need and with the added 1st rounder, it makes even more sense. Just do it. Sit him behind Eli for a year or two and get it going.

7- Jacksonville Jaguars

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Lions fans would get very excited for him to get this close but he’s too good of a player to slide this far. Jaguars pounce.

8- Detroit Lions

TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.” But actually this is a great pick for the Lions. He’s not a reach, if the Lions didn’t take him, he’d be gone by #10. He may even go hockensonto the Jags. He is the best blocking tight end in the draft and I’ve read he may have the best hands of any player of any position. He tested well and he would be a PERFECT security blanket/weapon for Stafford to bounce back next season.

If you are worried about taking a tight end in the Top 10 because of Ebron, you are stupid. This has no connection to that. If the Lions had used that same logic, they never would have taken Calvin Johnson.

9- Buffalo Bills

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

There is probably some textbook on blogging that tells you not to call your readers idiots but let’s move on, shall we? Oliver was a no brainer Top 3 pick from his freshman season until the start of this past year. He got hurt and people started questioning. He’s still damn good and the Bills will take him.

10- Denver Broncos

Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

There’s a lot of thought that John Elway is on the hot seat so a QB with this pick, with Joe Flacco on the team, as a non-starter because it doesn’t help him win right now and secure his job but this is what is best for the team going forward. It may also allow him to argue to keep the job, showing he has a long term plan with his defensive minded head coach, Vic Fangio, taking over.

11- Cincinnati Bengals

Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

The Bengals have an offensive guru taking over and need help everywhere so it makes sense to spend their first pick on defensive talent and the best player available is the speedster for Michigan. Bush is a man. He will be a star right away if he stays healthy and will be a big boost fro the Bengals.

12- Green Bay Packers

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

This could also be Jonah Williams but I’ve been hearing Taylor is the hot new name to be the first lineman taken. They need to protect Aaron Rodgers, no question about it. Save him and you always have a chance. Invest on the line.

13- Miami Dolphins

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

They really should try to trade out of here but if they don’t get the lineman. They most likely will be really bad a picking high next year. Take the QB then but first get some support.

14- Atlanta Falcons

Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

A bit of a slide for the former #1 overall prospect but his athleticism and size is just too garygood for him to drop too much. I personally am in the camp that the scheme muted his production and a different role will pay off on the scoresheet but the facts are the facts, he didn’t put up the numbers. If I’m right, the Falcons get a steal at #14.

15- Washington Redskins

DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

I think the Redskins should trade for Josh Rosen and should be able to keep this pick in the process since it doesn’t seem like his stock is sky rocketing. Add in them getting Derrius Guice back from injury and all they need is a young WR to complete the trio. Could go Hollywood Brown but I think Metcalf is the first to go.

16- Carolina Panthers

Brian Burns, EDGE. Florida State

They need an offensive lineman but the top 2 are already gone and when in doubt, go for the freak athlete speed rusher. Odds are, it’ll work out.

17- New York Giants

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

brown marquise

They take a QB early, they have Saquon Barkley and a hole at wide receiver. If Brown hadn’t gotten hurt, he’d be a lock for the top receiver taken. He is small but incrediblyfast AND quick. Being related to Antonio Brown ain’t bad either.

18- Minnesota Vikings

Andre Dillard, OL, Washignton State

I don’t know anything about him but they need lineman and he is one. I hope he sucks. The Vikings suck.

19- Tennessee Titans

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Marcus Mariota needs weapons. And if he isn’t the answer, then Ryan Tannehill needs weapons. Somebody needs weapons. Fant is a weapon.

20- Pittsburgh Steelers

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

The Steelers’ biggest need is in the secondary and SOMEHOW they get the pick of the litter at #20. They can take whoever they want. The uber corner in Williams or the hard hitting DeAndre Baker? Or maybe the all around guy in Byron Murphy? People knock Williams for his tackling but let’s be real, in today’s NFL, you need to be able to cover. Greedy does that well.

21- Seattle Seahawks

Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

The Seahawks could go a LOT of ways. They have needs on defense and will have even more when some of their young stars would need to be paid soon. They don’t have money to keep them all because they gave Russell Wilson so much. SO they should invest in him more. Take the offensive lineman.

22- Baltimore Ravens

Clelin Ferrell, DL, Clemsonferrell

This is just an instance of a guy sliding further than he should and you just have to snatch the talent when presented.

23- Houston Texans

Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College

There’s nothing to breakdown. It’s some offensive lineman. Not glamorous but important. Protect the QB.

24- Oakland Raiders

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

This is a chance for the Raiders to completely revamp the defense. Sweat early in the first and Murphy with the second pick. He’s a very versatile and valuable piece that can do it all.

25- Philadelphia Eagles

Garrett Bradbury, OT, NC State

If everyone stays healthy the Eagles are as talented as anybody. But they need help up front to keep those people healthy (cough) Carson Wentz (cough).

26- Indianapolis Colts

DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Colts killed the draft last year with Darius Leonard and Quintin Nelson and Baker can be another solid rock piece that has a high floor to at the very least be a solid player.

27- Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Running backs are losing value, unless they are a true game changer, but teams can stretch for a very good running back when you have three first rounders. Jacobs can help transition from the eventual loss of Beast Mode.

28- Los Angeles Chargers

Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

They need a defensive lineman. He’s the best left. Don’t be dumb.

29- Kansas City Chiefs

Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

The Chiefs need a corner but the Top 3 go before them so the reach for a second rounder here. But he has a DOPE Christian rapper name.

30- Green Bay Packers

Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama

The Jimmy Graham experiment isn’t really working and Rodgers likes his tight ends. Smith can block and he can catch. He will catch a Hail Mary against the Lions.

31- Los Angeles Rams

Jeffrey Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

He has some off the field issues but they have an on-field issue with Suh moving on. He can eat the space and blockers to help their best player be even better.

32 -New England Patriots

N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

The Pats could go anywhere here. Just get a good player. They need an offensive weapon wit their recent losses and Harry is one of my favorite players in the draft. He’s like Alshon Jeffrey. He is big, catches everything but isn’t that fast. He’ll look covered but catch like he’s wide open.

Detroit Lions Remaining Picks

Round 2, 43rd Pick –

David Long, CB, Michigan

Teez Tabor has not worked out. Been almost as bad as it could go. Long is starting to climb draft boards which is strange he had to do it in the first place. He was a TRUE lockdown corner in college in a man coverage scheme. Nobody caught anything on him. But he also didn’t have a bunch of picks so people don’t like him. His size is good enough and he crushed the workouts. He could start Day 1.

My heart would also like Chase Winovich here and then CMU’s Sean Bunting in the third.

Round 3, 88th Pick –

Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

Theo Riddick is the most expensive running back on the roster. In fact, he makes more than the other three backs combined. They may be looking for his replacement at a much cheaper price. Henderson is undersized but a good receiver and a monster home run threat. HE AVERAGED 8.9 YARDS PER CARRY. Think about that. Kerryon is the clear number one but Henderson is a good change of pace and would compliment Anderson and Zenner, if Kerryon gets hurt again.

Round 4, 111th Pick –

Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke

This guy is the anti-Jarrad Davis. Not that he is bad or Davis is bad, just that he is athletic enough but tackles everything. More of a true classic MLB. A Patricia type linebacker. Would compliment Davis well.

Round 5, 146th Pick –

Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Gonna be honest. DOn’t know anything about this guy but he seemed athletic, he’s from the U and the Lions need some EDGE help. This guy sounds good.

Round 6, 184th Pick –

David Sills V, WR, West Virginia

He’s a big dude that can run the slot. He can take over when Amendola is done and fill in when he certainly gets hurt. A big red zone target.

Round 6, 204th Pick –

Isaiah Prince, OL, Ohio State

He was a big time recruit coming out of high school, started a lot of games for Ohio State. Good enough. Sign him up.

Round 7, 224th Pick –

Ryan Finley, QB, NC State

Todd McShay listed him as the best QB at reading defenses in the entire draft. In the 7th round, that’s good enough for me. Plus, there’s no reason to take a QB before the 6th round. Stafford isn’t going anywhere.

Round 7, 229th Pick –

Xavier Crawford, CB, Central Michigan

Didn’t get Bunting earlier, get his partner in crime here. He will make the team wherever he gets drafted.

Stephen Gregory Yzerman is Coming Home

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It has been rumored. It has been craved. It started to look a little shaky but in the end it will be one of the worst kept secrets in sports. Steve Yzerman will return to the Red Wings as the team’s General Manager. The prodigal son returns.

Sure, he was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada but he was made in Detroit, Michigan, United States.

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His return has been the dream of Red Wings fans ever since he retired and the team failed to truly compete for Cups anymore. Then they started missing the playoffs and it got desperate.

But now after a 22-year career with the team, a majority of them as the Captain, he comes to the Red Wings with a lot of young talent, a controversial coach under a new extension and a brand new arena.

Will he lead the team to glory again? Hopefully. Is this just another hype filled return like Harbaugh? Definitely. But as people are getting tired of waiting on Harbaugh, it will be interesting to see how much rope Yzerman gets before people start complaining. There will be complaining. When he makes his first trade, or misses out on his first big free agent, or the team fails to make the playoffs in the next two years.

But that’s a worry for a different time. Today is a good day. It’s 4-19-19. It’s Good Friday.

Welcome home, Captain.

“Earth” by Lil Dicky

lil-dicky-earth-2019-billboard-1548

First things first. I had heard of Lil Dicky but I had no idea who the hell he was. You could have shown me photos of Kodak Black and told me it was Lil Dicky and I would have believed you. He was a name I recognized but never seen the face.

So, let’s just say I was surprised when this video started.

It just dropped a few minutes ago but I have the feeling this is going to be talked about. When you see a song is coming out and it involves all these kind of celebrities, you expect a group chorus like “We Are The World” redux. This was not that.

I usually hate blow hardy, self indulging activist songs. They always suck. This was not that.

It certainly has a message. Has an agenda and has a purpose but when you can mix a message in a song as catchy as this and you can throw Justin Bieber, Lil Jon, Snoop Dogg, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Joel Embiid just dropping in for four words each, as animals across the world. That shit bangs.

This guy must have some heft to be able to get all these names to show up for so little. I may have to listen to him. What is he? A mix between Eminem, Macklemore and Weird Al?

Sure. Let’s save the world. I’m down with that. Animals and plants are cool.

Lions Schedule Release: A Prediction

Camp-setup-Detroit-Lions-begin-new-chapter-with-Matt-PatriciaThe NFL released the regular season schedules for every NFL team. I always find it strange the league announces such a thing like three days out and then gets cucked by reporters throughout the day as the schedule leaks. Just drop it like a Beyonce album. No warning. No time for teams to create cool social media videos. “Here’s the schedule. Deal with it.”

Anyways, here’s how the Lions schedule stacks up.

image1

Man, that’s a tough first four weeks. Then an early bye week, never good. Then two months of the NFC North and East? Geez. Finish with a Vikings road game, a snow game in Denver and a Green Bay finale? Yikes.

After I break it all down, look at it every way, I just don’t see how the team will lose a single game. 16-0. Just makes too much sense.

Actually, it is just stupid to look at a schedule 5 months before the season starts and try to figure this out. We have no idea who will be good, no idea who will be bad ad who will be injured. Every year the Lions beat the good teams, lose to the shitty teams…there’s no reason to try. You can look at the Bucs and Giants games and say, “Oh that’s a win.” while their fans are looking at the Lions and saying, “Oh that’s a win.” It’s a waste.

The only thing you can take from the schedule release that is of any substance is the weather. How many snow games are possible? Who do they play on Thanksgiving? How many primetime games? That’s it. Schedule road trips. See what games line up with your dad’s birthday. That’s it.

I am as optimistic of a Lions fan as you can find and I still will wait until a week before the seasons starts to even BEGIN to try to predict things. And even then I’ll be wrong.

 

PS – Good luck and positive thoughts to Kelly Stafford as she went through brain surgery Wednesday. She has a long road in front of her but we are all there for her.

Hat on a Hat: Lansing Locos

This is going to be a series I plan to do with this blog. “Hat on a Hat.” In football it means to have a guy blocking each person on the defense and in the blog world it means critiquing logos and team names. One of my favorite things in life are minor league baseball hats. The names, the logos, the colors and the effort. All are exciting. So as we go along and I see, or hear about, a new logo or team name, I will come to GTS and give my opinion.

If you have a unique or creative hat/logo that you see out there, let me know. The possibilities are endless.

And with the first installment, I will begin with the Lansing Lugnuts entry into the Copa de la Diversión series, giving a nod to the Latino roots/influence into the game. For four games in 2019, the Lugnuts will become the Lansing Locos.

LOCOS

Logo Quality: 9/10

Simple yet detailed. Some of these logos can get too detailed and busy, some are just plain. This one hits the sweet spot. You instantly know what it is and yet it is not overwhelming. You may think I overanalyze these kinds of things but this is the crap I think about in the first second I see these logos.

Colors: 7/10

These Copa de la Diversión logo/teams are all going to be bright and vibrant. Showing off the hispanic culture and heritage. This one works. Not sure how much of a connection the two main colors have to Lansing or Michigan but they at least work well together.

Creativity: 8/10

Locos is a simple name but I like how this works on a few levels. The Lugnuts are a piece of hardware but they also have a saying, “Let’s go ‘Nuts!” Get it? “Let’s go crazy!” Like loco. So, fitting that with the alliteration and adding in a cuckoo kind of bird, it works on different levels. I like it.

Wearability: 3/5

I like the hat. I like the logo and I like the colors but when a hat is as loud and bright as this, it’s not going to work with a ton of things you are wearing. You have to be wearing a pretty plain black or white outfit to be able to pull off a loud hat like this. You quickly get into Rickie Fowler Puma territory if you try to match the colors.

Overall: 27/35

A very nice start to the series. You can do a lot worse and this will stand as a winner when it is all said and done. Loud, bright, clear and fun, you can’t go wrong with grabbing any Lansing Locos gear this summer. It will be a conversation starter and a nice break from the simple logos you find in the majors.

Lansing Lugnuts Store

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

And so it begins.

This is going to be an interesting hobby for me. I am a person that has an opinion. Most of the time my opinion is, “You need to calm down. It’s just entertainment. Enjoy it.”

But then there are times when I just don’t understand what people are thinking. What they are saying. What they truly believe. Especially when it comes to sports.

So this is going to be my outlet to express my opinion and tell you why you are wrong. I will have a place to talk, a place to argue and a place to vent.

I plan to post at least once a day. I want to be consistent, I want to make this a real thing.

I will focus around Michigan sports. Detroit, Wolverines, Spartans, Chippewas….anything worth a shout. I will comment on pop culture and maybe even throw some political jokes in without making it weird. Don’t make it weird people. I like movies, television and music.

So ride along with me as we do this. It should be fun. Let me know what you like and what I need to work on. I want to get good at this. I want to have fun. Have fun with me.

-GTS