What you missed this weekend: 5/17-5/19

Although most leagues around the world are coming to a close, What you missed this weekend won’t. This weekend, things continue to become more exciting in the NBA and NHL playoffs, the Braves and Cardinals find success in the MLB, an anticipated boxing match ended rather quickly, and as England get their World Cup preparations underway. Also, we have to say good-bye to a few names from the world of sports, which we’ll cover. 

Stanford vs. Washington State by Daniel Hartwig is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Bob Schloredt passes away at 79

College Football Hall of Famer Bob Schloredt has passed away on Thursday. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 after leading the University of Washington to consecutive Rose Bowl titles in 1959 and 1960. He received MVP Honors in both Bowl games. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Schloredt and football fans from Fourth Quarter Sports.


NBA Playoffs

Warriors’ Curry drops 37 in game 2 comeback to take a 2-0:

Stephen Curry was just too much to handle for Portland Trail Blazers. In game 2 of the conference finals, the 2016 NBA MVP put 37 points passed Trail Blazers in Warriors’ 111-114 victory over them to establish a 2-0 lead for Golden State. Although the scoreline reads a tight encounter between the two, Trail Blazers could’ve squared the series as they had a 15 point lead at half-time. As this game was on the road for Golden State, Kevin Durant didn’t join the team, but that didn’t seem to make much of a difference for as of Sunday night, Warriors currently have a 3-0 lead.

Kwahi Leonard “The Klaw” led his team to a win in double overtime:

Just as Toronto was starting to lose hope, Kwahi Leonard lead his team to victory as Toronto beat Milwaukee 112-118. In the NBA’s first double-overtime game since 2007, The Klaw’s 36 points helped Toronto come back in the series 2-1. Leonard ended up scoring 11 shots and 12 free throws and played for a new personal record 52 minutes.

Tyreke Evans dismissed from NBA:

Pacers’ guard Tyreke Evans has to pack his bags after violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. This is the third time he’s been suspended, first for anything related to drugs, with the first suspension being in 2010.


NHL Playoffs

Boston sweep Carolina:

A few weeks back, in a special NHL edition of Buy or Sell, with Joel Deering, RahimAli Merchant and I, I backed the Boston Bruins to lift the Stanley Cup. On Thursday, Boston knocked Carolina out, beating them and winning the series 4-0, to advance to the Stanley Cup. In game 4, both teams were tied at 0-0 for the first 25 minutes until the Bruins scored back-to-back goals in the powerplay. Boston’s goaltender, Tuukka Rask , also came to the occasion, stopping a whopping 109 of the 114 shots he faced in the four games.



Le’Veon Bell to leave Jets?:

After New Jersey Jets manager Todd Bowles was fired at the end of the 2018-19 season, it seems that interim manager Adam Gase doesn’t think Le’Veon Bell fits in his plans. Gase stated that the Jets spend too much money on Bell, which points towards the possibility of Bell being traded away. Although he could find himself at Seattle or San Francisco, it seems difficult to do so at this stage, and Bell may just have to wait through this upcoming season.

Chris Long retires from Philadelphia:

After winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year last season, the defensive end Chris Long has announced the end of this eleven-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Retiring at the age of 34, Long won two consecutive Super Bowls, 2016 with the New England Patriots and 2017 with the Eagles. His father, Howie Long, also played in the NFL and combined with Chris Long, both have a total of 154 sacks. This last season, Chris Long held 6.5 sacks to his name, his most since 2013.



Cardinals beat Rangers for the first time since 2011:

Since the World Series eight years ago, the Arizona Cardinals have failed to beat the Texas Rangers until Friday. It was a big win as well, with the Cardinals winning 8-2. The fifth innings seemed to be the breakthrough which saw six runs being scored by Arizona. The Cardinals also pitched well as Dakota Hudson pitched six innings, striking out five batsmen and allowing only two runs.

Ryan Pressly goes 39 games without giving up a run:

In 2011, Craig Kimbrel went 38 games without giving away a single run. In 2019, Ryan Pressly has gone 39 games and counting. He broke the record Friday night in the Houston Astros’ 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Since August 10, 2018, Pressley has struck out 47 batsmen and allowed only 17 hits and three walks. It was a special night for Pressly as teammate Gerrit Cole remarked: “We were all aware of what he was going for, and wow, what a special moment for him.”

Braves beat Brewers in dramatic series:

On Friday, 20 runs were scored as the Atlanta Braves beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-12. On Saturday, the Braves won, but just barely as Freddie Freeman’s homer in the tenth innings was the difference, handing Atlanta a 4-3 win and the series. This made Atlanta the first NL East team to beat Milwaukee in a series this season. However, the drama wasn’t over just yet. The Brewers found solace in another overtime game as this time, the Brewers won 3-2, thanks to Ben Gamel.



Wilder quiets Breazeale in the first round:

The rivalry between heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and challenger Dominic Breazeale had reached such a high point that Wilder threatened to kill Brezeale in the ring. Such didn’t happen, but Breazeale’s will was killed within seconds. Wilder’s right-hand punch to Breazeale’s jaw was the difference as Breazeale was knocked out in the first round. Wilder has now tied Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, and Lennox Lewis for nine consecutive titles.



Manchester City hero announces retirement:

Another athlete hung up the boots this weekend, this time, in England. Manchester City and Belgium captain and defender Vincent Kompany announced he’s played his last game for City after City won their fourth Premier League title, the last two being back-to-back. Despite facing an injury-filled career, Kompany’s long-range goal against Leicester City in the 70th minute ensured City were favorites going into the final week and prevented Liverpool from winning the title. Kompany’s leaving City after winning the domestic treble this season after winning the PL, Domestic Cup and the FA Cup, and will start managing for Anderlecht in Belgium.



England stumbles to victory at Trent Bridge:

Pakistan’s poor bowling continued to cost them as England chased down Pakistan’s 340-7 with three wickets and balls to spare. In the first innings, after Imam Ul-Haq was retired hurt, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez both made half-centuries while Babar Azam found a century. England opener Jason Roy replied with a century as well before Mohammad Hasnain took his wicket. Spin made the difference as Imad Wasim and Shoaib Malik found wickets, but Ben Stokes’ 71(64)* and Tom Curran’s 31(30) lead England to victory.

Chris Woakes bowls well in Leeds:

England wrapped up the series with a 4-0 win over Pakistan as England won the final ODI at Headingley in Leeds by 54 runs. England achieved a score of 340-7; half-centuries from Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan and Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imad Wasim shared seven wickets. In the second innings, Pakistan was exposed to a poor start by losing three wickets in the first six runs. Babar Azam and wicketkeeper/captain Sarfaraz Ahmed steading the ship with a partnership worth 146 runs. However, Pakistan collapsed after Sarfaraz was stumped out on 97(80). Afridi and Hasnain had a comical partnership of 47 runs at the end of the innings, but the game was already lost for Pakistan by then.

Amir, Asif, Wahab in for World Cup:

Right after the England series, Pakistan announced their final World Cup squad. After an excellent performance in the England series with two half-centuries, Asif Ali was included over opener Abid Ali. From the need of serious pace in England, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have been recalled, replacing Faheem Ashraf and Junaid Khan.

Asif Ali mourns daughter’s passing:

After a long battle with cancer, Ali’s daughter has passed away at the age of 19 months after receiving treatment in the U.S. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, teammates and friends of Asif Ali from us here at Fourth Quarter Sports.

USA Women find light in T20I series against Canada:

As the men’s team finds success in ODI cricket, the women are roaring through the T20 format. The US beat Canada 3-0 in a T20 series, the first by ten wickets after restricting Canada to 66-6, the second by 37 runs after bowling Canada out for 76 and the final one by 35 runs after the Canadians could only score 81-6. In the first T20I, medium-pacer Lisa Ramjit broke records after bowling 2-5 in her four overs.

Buy or Sell: Harper, Raiders, Jaguars, Lakers, Atlanta United FC, and Lightning

We’ve changed things up a bit this time around, as another member of the team joins us for this supersized version of “Buy or Sell.” Aman Huda will be taking the place of Mickayeen from here on out!
This week we talk about six different topics, covering five sports. Yes, that’s right! We took supersize to the next level, and we would love to get your thoughts on everything we buy or sell this week! In last week’s article, we spoke of Nolan Arenado and his deal, but we left the real deal for Dan Piersman, as he tells us about Bryce Harper!
IMG_3979” by Dinur is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Harper is one of our several topics this week! We also have some big topics about the NFL, to talk about some possible QB moves that could change the landscape of the AFC next season. There’s also the question as to if a struggling NBA team will land a top player in free agency. We also include a bit on the NHL and the defending MLS champions. Let’s get started!

RahimAli: Bryce Harper will bring another title to the city of brotherly love.

Joel: I’ll buy Bryce Harper bringing another title to Philly. I can’t say exactly when that will be, but he’s got a long time to make it happen, so I’ll buy it.

Bryce Harper is one of the best players in baseball. Having him on the team instantly made the Phillies better. Most of the time when you have a star player, especially one of Harper’s caliber, it’s easy to attract other stars as well. I think the Phillies can put together a nice roster over the next few years and really be able to get into not only playoff contention, but championship contention.

Again, I can’t say exactly when this championship will come. I doubt it will be this coming season or the season after, but maybe it could be. You just never know. I can see it happening over the course of Harper’s lifetime Phillies deal.

Aman: I too buy that Bryce Harper can do the job for Philly. If he impresses this season, he’ll definitely make others want to play with him, which will only make the team stronger and better in the future. Perhaps not this season, but within the next five years, it’s definitely a strong possibility seeing a World Series title being delivered to Philadelphia.


Joel: The Oakland Raiders will trade QB Derek Carr to target a top QB in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Aman: I sell the Raiders trading him away. It seems as of late that Carr might be important in getting the Raiders to land Antonio Brown, and the Raiders wouldn’t want to compromise on an opportunity like that. If a receiver like Brown can help the rest of the offense for the Raiders next season, the performance of everyone else will only improve. Along with that, if Carr and Brown can form an excellent partnership together, they’ll be crucial to the Raiders winning games next season.

RahimAli: I buy! When the Raiders somehow convinced Jon Gruden to come out of the play-by-play booth to coach again after 10 years, we all thought it was going to be a great thing for both him and quarterback Derek Carr. However, the Raiders and Carr didn’t have a great season at all, as they went 4-12. In fact, before the season started, Gruden traded the teams best defensive player, Khalil Mack, to the Chicago Bears for a first-round pick.

He also traded the teams best receiver, Amari Cooper, to the Dallas Cowboys for another first-rounder.

It’s clear Gruden is ready to clean house. With the offense getting older with guys like Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Jared Cook and Jordy Nelson, who are all 30 plus, it’ll be hard to get rid of them for younger talent or picks.

Carr is 27 and still has plenty of upside. Last season, Carr had a career high in passing yards (4,049) and completion percentage (68.9) in a failed season for the Raiders. That alone should be reason enough for anyone to want to trade for Carr. At the right price, Gruden will do it.

After all, Gruden loves QBs. This year’s class is one of the most interesting, with all eyes on Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. If the Raiders were to trade Carr, they would most likely be looking to use their 4th overall pick to get a QB like Murray or Haskins instead of ta defensive end as predicted in the most recent mock draft.


Aman: The Jaguars can make playoffs with Nick Foles next season.

RahimAli: I buy the Jaguars will make the playoffs next season with Nick Foles. I don’t completely put the failure of last season on the shoulders of QB Blake Bortles, because they had several issues. However, Bortles is one of the issues. I think all the issues will be a point of focus by the Jaguars coaching staff in this offseason and training camp.

One issue was the lack of depth at receiver and running back. The Jaguars’ offense runs through RB Leonard Fournette, who missed half the season with injury, which left T.J. Yeldon to pick up the slack. Yeldon was later joined by Carlos Hyde in a trade. Their WRs were banged up all season long as well. They lost WR Marquise Lee during the preseason.

All that alone was a cause of the Jaguars’ disappointing season. Bortles and the Jaguars went from 10-6 and making the AFC Championship game, to being 5-11 and the last place team in the AFC South. Last place is a regular position for the Jaguars with Bortles,  and it’s clear they need a change at QB.

With all their offensive weapons getting healthy and Foles having success running a similar offense in Philadelphia, I think this is a good move in the right direction. Now only if Jalen Ramsey and the defense can get their act together.

Joel: I buy the Jaguars being able to make the playoffs next season with Nick Foles. For starters, they made the playoffs with Blake Bortles two years ago. Nick Foles is a better QB than Blake Bortles. Not only is he a better QB in terms of talent, but he’s a much better leader. There was something different about the Eagles when Foles was in compared to Carson Wentz, and I believe it was Foles’ ability to lead a team. Blake Bortles isn’t a leader.

Then there’s the fact that Leonard Fournette was injured a lot last season, as RahimAli said. If Fournette can get healthy again, things will go back to the way they were during his rookie season, when he dominated on the ground. With Fournette returning to himself, that will open a lot of things up for Foles. They do need to address their receiver position, but I think they can easily take care of that either in free agency or the draft, at least well enough to get them by offensively.

Finally, there’s the defense. Despite what people might think, the defense was still pretty good last season. They weren’t as good as two years ago, but they ranked tied for fourth in the NFL in points allowed, allowing an average of 19.8 per game. That’s really good! With the offense getting healthier and being upgraded at the most important position, they’ve got a good chance to get back in the playoffs.


Joel: Despite probably missing the playoffs, the Lakers will sign at least one big name free agent this coming off-season.

RahimAli: As a Lakers fan hoping for another championship, I buy! But as a Lakers fans frustrated with this season, I SELL! I don’t think the Lakers will land a big name player this offseason.

In fact, I think LeBron will push for coach Luke Walton to get replaced, like he has done to every coach that has coached him not named Erik Spoelstra. It’s part of what LeBron does in his career. I think the Lakers will get a big name coach from outside the organization and have them try their luck; maybe somebody who can coach defense.

The Lakers will definitely miss the playoffs again this season, and everybody is going to be second guessing themselves. All these moves they made to set themselves up for a bright future with the “greastest of all time,” and it’s probably LeBron James’ worst season of his career.

Early last week, I gave three additional things the Lakers lack that has caused the situation they are in. But the biggest thing they lack right now is leadership, and no big name player wants to come to a team with a new head coach and no real leadership. We don’t even know who all will be part of the team next year, besides LeBron James.

But let’s go back to his season stats real quick, he’s shooting a career low, 66.9 percent from the free throw line. Instead of getting the basket and foul, James gets one free throw. I mean, I get he’s trying to get the rest of the players involved and be the playmaker that we all know and love him for, but he has to know when to take control without having a supporting cast like Dwyane Wade or Kyrie Irving.

Also, I don’t think any big name player wants to be the second best on their team. Isn’t that why Irving left in the first place? I mean, you can’t argue that James isn’t great when he just passed Michael Jordan for 4th all-time on the NBA scoring list, but you think scorers like Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, and Kawhi Leonard won’t have a problem? I don’t know, maybe Aman’s synopsis is a better one to go with, as I’ll continue to watch the Lakers fight and fail to make the playoffs.

Aman: I buy! The Lakers will definitely have the money to do so. Along with that, the team will be quick to make changes if they miss the playoffs, which includes buying a player or two. Also, coming from a player’s point of view, despite not being as credible of a team right now, it won’t be too hard to attract players to the Lakers, given a chance to play alongside LeBron James and live in a city like Los Angeles.


Aman: Atlanta United will defend their MLS title with a new manager.

Rahim: I’m going to sell this one! Sorry Atlanta fans, but repeats are the hardest thing to do. As much as I would love to see them do it again for the city of Atlanta, I don’t think it’s going to happen, and it has nothing to do with the new manager.

Although, I think Frank de Boer can lead the Five Stripe to the playoffs again, winning it all is highly unlikely. Frank de Boer is a European manager who’s more used to a European style of football. In the MLS, de Boer will need to adapt to the high-paced attacking and high-pressure from defenders. Also, the Atlanta United team is based on a South American style of football, something which will take time for de Boer to adapt to.

Plus, there are other teams who look more hungry for the title this year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Los Angeles Galaxy are still looking to prove themselves. LAFC was pretty impressive in the opening season, and it seems they can only get better. We just saw usual favorites Seattle Sounders pound FC Cincinnati 4-1. And DC United, with Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney look like a proper football team.

That’s just the nature of the game we call Soccer. All it takes is one goal and a season can be over. For the sake of Atlanta United FC, it was a late first half goal in the Cup final that sparked the championship and ended a curse of the city of Atlanta. Read more about what that curse meant here.

Joel: I’m going to sell Atlanta United defending their title with a new manager. As is the case for RahimAli, it has nothing to do with the new manager. RahimAli also stated how hard it is to repeat championships.

It happens every once in a while, but it’s extremely hard to do. I know the NFL is completely different, but I’ll use the New England Patriots as an example. They’ve won six Super Bowl titles with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Out of those six, how many times have they repeated? Just once.

Yes, they’ve made it back to the Super Bowl in back-to-back years, but they’ve only won it in back-to-back years once. This is proof that it’s extremely hard to win a title after winning it the year before. I think Atlanta United will be a good team, but I’ll sell on them defending their title.


RahimAli: With the Tampa Bay Lightning being the only team in the NHL with 50 wins, they are the favorite to win the Stanley Cup?

Aman: What makes a hockey team great? Their offense. The team with the best offense, the team which scores the most typically becomes strong favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

Having 257 goals under their belt, the next best team in terms of goals is the Toronto Maple Leafs. When it comes between the Lightning and the Maple Leafs, the Lightning are favorites to advance further, and most likely to a Stanley Cup final. The Lightning’s playoff experience has been a lot better in recent history, and their confidence will likely be higher than that of Toronto’s. Therefore, I buy Tampa Bay taking the Stanley Cup home this time around.

Joel: I’ll buy the Tampa Bay Lightning being the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you look at the standings, they have 51 wins. The next closest team has 41 wins. Having 10 more wins than any other team means they’re not just the best team, but they’re quite a bit better than the rest of the field. I also think that anytime you’re the best team in the league, you should be favored to win the championship.

It just makes sense for the team with the best record to be the favorite. To give some statistics to back their record up, Tampa Bay ranks first in Goals For per game (3.84) and fourth in Goals Against per game (2.61). So not only are they a great offensive team, they’re a great defensive team too. That’s a great combination for winning a championship.



And there you have it! Now, what do you think?

  • Could Bryce Harper bring a title in Philly?
  • Will Nick Foles lead the Jaguars to the playoffs if he were to sign there?
  • Could Derek Carr be traded?
  • Will any big name player join LeBron James as a Laker after possibly missing out on the playoffs?
  • Can Atlanta United FC defend their crown?
  • Are the Tampa Bay Lightning the favorites to win the Stanley Cup?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Injuries and contracts for Washington teams leave fans in awe

With the recent news about Washington Wizards guard John Wall, Wizards fans don’t have much hope left. I hope you’re not a super fan of the teams in D.C. If you are, you’re in for a lot of disappointment.

That recent news reported Saturday about Wall, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic, was that he’ll miss six to eight months as he gets set to undergo heel surgery.

2013 Washington Wizards 1” by Michael Tipton is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


It’s been a problem that was bothering Wall last season as well. Though the Wizards aren’t in the playoff picture, Wall is a huge piece to their success. His injury prone season last year was a prime example of what to expect this season. The Wizards are currently 14-23 and have lost three of their last four games. That places them 11th in the East standings. However, they may not be able to recover from it.

In fact, the D.C. area teams are disappointing all the fans, and they have no control of it. With the Wizards losing Wall for the season and possibly not making the playoffs, the D.C. fans can only wait and watch what the other teams do.


Washington Redskins helmet” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


One team that will not be watched, is the NFL’s Washington Redskins. They have faced a lot of different injuries all over the offensive side.

They lost rookie running back Derrius Guice before the regular season even started. All though, they signed veteran running back Adrian Peterson to fill that void and also take over the role as the primary back, with teammate Chris Thompson battling through his own injuries.

Their wide receivers have battled through injuries all season long. They ultimately lost receivers Paul Richardson and Jamieson Crowder. Though Crowder did return from injury, it was too late, as quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy were also injured and placed on the injured reserved list.

The Redskins went from being 5-2 to 7-9 and missing the playoffs.


Washington Nationals Cap insignia” by Washington Nationals is licensed under Public Domain


How about the Nationals? Though they haven’t had to worry about the any issues with injuries, they are at risk of losing the best player on their team, Bryce Harper.

By the looks of it, Harper’s days as a National are over. He turned down a 10 year, $300 million dollar contract with the Nationals, and it doesn’t look like he’s ready to return to the D.C. or settle for that contract.

The Nationals could be losing Harper, and it’s not going to help them if they want to be a competitor in the National League.

Speaking of the National League, Harper is reportedly open to joining the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, all of which are NL rivals to the Nationals. Harper is also expecting to get a nice contract, like the ones the outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Mark Trout received from their clubs. So hopefully Harper and the Nationals can work at deal, because all the teams in D.C. are going through a rough patch.


Washington Capitals” by Washington Capitals is licensed under Public Domain


That rough patch includes Washington’s hockey team, the Washington Capitals, despite their successful season last year.

Yes, the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup in the NHL, but it took their beloved Alexander Ovechkin 13 seasons to do so. The Capitals are looking good now, as they lead the Metropolitan division, but it’s still a long season and we might not see a repeat.

That’s one of the hardest things to do in any sport, especially Hockey. Let’s also remember that Ovi is 33 years old and has two years left on his current contract. He may be reaching the end of his career sooner than later. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for the Capitals and their future.

In fact, I think the only team of these four who has a brighter future is the Redskins. If Alex Smith would have stayed healthy, there’s no saying what would’ve happened over the stretch of those final eight games without him.


How do you feel about the D. C. area teams? Will one or more teams be able to keep the hope alive? Or is it really time to rethink the situations that have been presented? Tell us more in the comment section below!

Buy or Sell: Hurricanes, Raiders, Possible AFC Championship Game

Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

On this week’s edition of Buy or Sell, we’ll be checking in on a coastal NHL team, an NFL franchise on the ropes, and whether NFL fans will be seeing a re-match of 2018’s Game of the Year (at least so far) to determine the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl.


Cullen: The Carolina Hurricanes’ Fast Start is For Real.

RahimAli: I’m selling the Carolina Hurricanes’ fast start because they haven’t played the top teams yet. October 16th was the first game against a top team who went deep into the playoffs last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2). It was their third loss in seven games and second straight. They also lost to the Winnipeg Jets (3-1) and still haven’t gotten to play the top teams in the Metropolitan Division. If you don’t follow Hockey, let me give you the top three teams in that division and you tell me what you think about the Hurricanes’ hot start.

  • Washington Capitals (2018 Champions)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Philadelphia Flyers

All of whom made the playoffs as a top seed, and the Hurricanes’ quick 4-1 start will slowly catch up to them like we have seen in the past few games. I do expect the Hurricanes to finish the season with at least 40 wins, but it’s still not going get them into playoffs and their drought will continue. The last time they made playoffs was the 2008-2009 season when they lost in the Conference Finals, but the competition is more competitive and makes it harder to win as many games as needed regardless of the points they earn.

Mickayeen: I’m gonna sell the Hurricanes’ fast start. They gutted out their team and will probably tank. I can’t even see them realistically winning 30 games, contrary to what RahimAli said. I’m not sure if you can have even a hockey fan who follows the NHL fairly closely name three players on their team. RahimAli did have a great point, though, about their schedule and their division. They haven’t played anyone good, and when they did, they lost. They are only a +3 with 4 wins. That is not sustainable.


RahimAli: The Oakland Raiders Will Finish With the Worst Record in the NFL This Season Under Coach Jon Gruden.

Cullen: I’ll buy the Raiders finishing with the NFL’s worst record. The Arizona Cardinals will give them a run for their money, but the Raiders play in a stronger conference and have fewer playmakers. Derek Carr’s regression is astounding, and the defense doesn’t look like it knows how to play a complete game.

Plus, Gruden–who, without a doubt, is the one making personnel calls–is trying to dump once-promising players for a nickel on the dollar while outright releasing recently signed veterans, like linebacker Derrick Johnson. Despite Gruden saying they’re not tanking, they’re tanking.

Now, I believe the Raiders will win at least one more game this season, so 1-15 won’t be happening. But 2-14, 3-13? Sure, I can believe that. What I’ll be curious to see, then, is what Gruden does with the #1 pick next year: nab Oregon’s QB Justin Herbert or try to patch up the defense by taking Ohio State’s DE Nick Bosa or Houston’s DT Ed Oliver? If they go with Herbert, Carr’s gone. Even if they go with Bosa or Oliver or any other position than QB, the Raiders can walk away from Carr with minimal damage after this year. The starting QB for the Las Vegas Raiders will not be Derek Carr.

Mickayeen: I will sell the Raiders being the worst team in the league, and I’m a Broncos fan. They will be very bad this season, but the Cardinals are worse. And on the topic of Gruden overall, he will be the most comfortable coach whose team picks in the top five the next two drafts. Here’s why: They still have one more year in Oakland after this before they go to Las Vegas. I’m not thinking the ownership cares about the people and fans in Oakland, so Gruden has two years to gut that thing out and start over in Vegas.

As Cullen said, Carr will likely not be the QB when they get to Vegas. Gruden will definitely last until Vegas–it’s why they hired him. And not necessarily because of his coaching skills (we are seeing how poor those are now), but because the name will put people in the seats. His seat is ice cold until Vegas.


Mickayeen: The Sunday Night Football Game Between the Patriots and Chiefs Was A Preview of the AFC Championship Game.

RahimAli: I’m selling the SNF showdown between Patriots and Chiefs as the AFC Championship game. I still like the Steelers and Jaguars to give both teams a run for their money despite each teams issues at running back.

The Chiefs have managed to beat both teams already, but that was early in the season. One thing we all know about Pittsburgh is that they start to take things to the next level after bye weeks, where they are currently. They may or may not have Le’Veon Bell returning. Jacksonville still has a lot of questions they need to answer. They were able to have an explosive offense against the Patriots in their win earlier this season and even in last years Conference Championship, but they got embarrassed against the Dallas Cowboys, 40-7. The same Cowboys team that doesn’t have a superstar receiver or playmaker other than Ezekiel Elliott.

Jacksonville should be able to bounce back and take control of their own fate. These four teams will likely be the division winners and all face each other. I do think Kansas City finally wins a playoff game to get to the Conference Championship, but the Steelers will beat them in another shootout after taking down the Patriots in the previous round.

Cullen: I’ll buy the Patriots and Chiefs heading to a re-match in the AFC Championship game.

First of all, that SNF game was incredible. Patrick Mahomes, for as poorly as he played in the first half, played a damn near perfect second half of football. But that Belichick-Brady combo at home is just too match. I believe first-time QBs in that environment are now 5-45.

These two teams look like two of the best in the NFL. I’m one of the few Chiefs fans who believes their defensive coordinator Bob Sutton can right the ship by the time the playoffs come around.

What will be key to this re-match taking place, is the Chiefs holding on to the AFC West and getting a bye that first week. Don’t sleep on the Chargers. They look great on both sides of the ball. Another team to watch out for is the Baltimore Ravens. That defense is menacing, and if Joe Flacco and the offense can just play consistent ball, they’ll be a tough out come the post-season.

I agree with RahimAli that the Steelers will be another team that must be overcome, but I’m not so sure about the Jaguars right now. I think they’re forgetting to play the games in front of them, instead looking ahead to the post-season. And Blake Bortles has regressed. The front office had their chance to upgrade on him in the offseason, but curiously didn’t. They need Leonard Fournette back and to be able to play on a consistent basis. He’s been too banged up to this point in his career.

Overall, I’m predicting the Chiefs and Patriots to each get a bye in the playoffs and to defeat whomever they play in the divisional round in Kansas City and Foxborough, respectively. That, of course, sets up Mahomes vs Brady part two.



What does everyone else think? Can the Carolina Hurricanes break their playoff drought? What team, if any, will fare worse than the Oakland Raiders the rest of the way? And will the Chiefs and Patriots play again this year, but this time for the right to play in the Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments!

Buy or Sell: Drew Brees, A.D., the Oilers

Anthony Davis” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Welcome back to another round of Buy or Sell. This week, RahimAli, Mickayeen and I are taking a look at whether the greatest quarterback of all-time plays for the New Orleans Saints, whether a different New Orleans-based athlete can step up his game enough to challenge for the NBA’s MVP, and whether the young phenom Connor McDavid can turn around his team’s fortune in the 2018-19 NHL season.


RahimAli: Drew Brees* is the Greatest Quarterback of All-Time.

*Brees is only 201 passing yards away from overtaking Peyton Manning from the top of the list of career passing yards.

Cullen: That’s a hard sell. As great as Brees has been since he arrived in New Orleans, including winning the Super Bowl and breaking (or about to break) numerous passing records, he doesn’t have the number of Super Bowl rings to be in the discussion of greatest of all-time. He’s definitely great, a surefire Hall of Famer when the time comes, but he doesn’t compare to guys like Joe Montana, Manning or Tom Brady.

Passing records aren’t what they used to be. The NFL is now an offense-driven league where the referee’s main mandate is to protect the quarterback, the star of the franchise, the face of the team. Brees, while he suffered a horrific injury on his last play during his time with the San Diego Chargers, has greatly benefited from that. And so his numbers are inflated. It used to mean something to throw for 400 yards in a game; 3,000 yards in a season; 50,000 yards in a career. No longer.

While Brees is a lock to break Manning’s all-time passing yards record on Monday night, it’s not a lock that he won’t be passed by a quarterback playing today. As much as I’m keen on Patrick Mahomes II, I’m not thinking about him. I’m thinking about Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. And Stafford, currently without a playoff win and only 61-68 in his career, most assuredly does not belong anywhere close to the “Greatest QB of All-Time Conversation” and most certainly does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Mickayeen: So I’m gonna have to sell on Drew Brees being the greatest QB of all time. This question is obviously very subjective to bias and what people perceive as being most important, whether what matters most is stats or rings or the “eye test” or whatever else.

For me, I’ll take a combination of those things. Rings matter because it shows that you can lead your team to the promised land and deliver (rare exceptions are guys like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer, who had legendary defenses). Rings, however important, are and will always be a team accomplishment, so I don’t weigh rings that heavily. Stats can be deceiving, but they obviously count when comparing two players in the same era. When I think of greatest of all time, I think about who I would draft if all things were equal and every single player was just starting their career.

With that in mind, Brees might crack the top ten, but he certainly doesn’t belong even in the top five. In my book, the top five are: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana, and Dan Marino. I would even put Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers before Brees for sure. So the highest Brees could make it for me is eighth, and I don’t see him moving ahead of anyone I have on the list. Don’t get me wrong, I am taking nothing away from Brees. He’s amazing and is one of the greatest of all time, just will never be THE greatest.


Cullen: Anthony Davis Will Finish in the Top 3 for the 2018-19 MVP

RahimAli: I’m buying that Davis will be Top 3. With the way the NBA runs nowadays, it’s mostly a focus on “what have you done for me.” With all the team’s looking to be super teams, it leaves the door open for those guys who aren’t on a super team, but still manages to lead his team into the playoffs. Last year, Davis led the Pelicans to the 6th seed and a sweep over the 3rd-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. He will once again be looking to lead his team into the playoffs. Let’s not forget, he doesn’t have any superstar players alongside him and he still puts up the numbers we’re used to seeing.

Mickayeen: [This question] is a tough one for me. I’ll hedge a bit and say that barring injury, he will finish top three in MVP voting. I think LeBron James, by virtue of being in LA, will not have the “voter fatigue” he experienced the last five seasons or so and will join Davis in the top three.

I think the voter fatigue will probably fall to whoever on the Warriors has the best year, so I don’t think any of them get there. James Harden finally got his MVP, so voting will cool down for him.

I’m thinking the other joining LeBron and Davis will be Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis, rightly so, has garnered a lot of attention as the next big superstar of the league, and he will have a tremendous year and get a lot of attention as well. As for Davis, he has always put up monster numbers when healthy, but his team hasn’t really been there around him. I think the Pelicans will make it back to the playoffs, which will be the deciding factor of him getting enough votes to end up in the top three.


Mickayeen: Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers Will Bounce Back from a Disappointing 2017-18 Season and Return to the Playoffs

Cullen: I’m going to buy the Oilers bouncing back from their underwhelming 2017-18 season, but sell them making it back to the playoffs.

Look, Connor McDavid is incredible. He’s one of the best players in the NHL, a superstar at only age 21. For the past two seasons he’s led the league in points. In 2016-17, that equated a playoff appearance.

Last year? Not so much, as the Oilers finished sixth in Pacific with a mere 78 points. More worrisome: despite McDavid’s 108 points (8 more than he had the year before, mind you), the team still finished with a -29 in goal differential. Ownership, though, decided to keep around both coach Todd McLellan (with some new assistants) and general manager Peter Chiarelli. That’s rare in the NHL, a league that likes to churn out head coaches and executives like it’s going out of style. In response, Chiarelli managed a pretty decent offseason for the cap-strapped (his fault, of course) squad. There wasn’t a star acquired, but the moves were solid–solid enough to get the Oilers and McDavid back into contention, but not solid enough to get them back to the playoffs.

RahimAli: I buy the Oilers bouncing back. Although I think that McDavid will continue to be the great player he is at just 21, the Oilers are in arguably the hardest division. Though they may bounce back and have a better record then last year, they could very well be on the outside looking in. We do expect to see the Pacific division have at least four to five teams make the playoffs, but the Oilers won’t be one. I believe they do finish with a record of more than 40 wins and be close to the playoffs, but fall short on points.


What do you guys think? Does Brees deserve G.O.A.T. status? Will the ‘Brow take home the Association’s top individual prize? Will the Oilers get back to the playoffs, or will the slide continue? Let us know in the comments!


Buy or Sell: Boston Sports, Chiefs, Timberwolves, Falcons Defense, Golden Knights

Tom Brady
12 Tom Brady” by Peter Bond is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Cullen Jekel, RahimAli Merchant and Mickayeen Farner


Welcome to the second week of Fourth Quarter Sports’ Buy or Sell. Here, we’ll go through three NFL questions regarding the explosive Kansas City Chiefs, the struggling New England Patriots, and the depleted Atlanta Falcons defense.

Mixed in there we’ll tackle whether the Minnesota Timberwolves can survive the Jimmy Butler Situation, how that may end; whether Major League Baseball’s best team record-wise can make it through the playoffs; and whether the biggest surprise in sports in the past fifty years can repeat its 2017-2018 achievements.


Cullen: The New England Patriots Will Miss the Playoffs

Mickayeen: I’m going to sell that only because of the competition within their division. The Bills beating the Vikings was one that we have to chalk up to “any given Sunday” until they can put a string of games like this together. The Dolphins have had wins against teams that look like they won’t be good this year. The Jets are trending in the right direction, but are still starting a rookie QB and will continue to have growing pains. I predicted the Pats to go 10-6 in my AFC East preview before the season. I’m sticking to that, but I also predicted Tom Brady to begin his decline by comparing what I think is going to happen to Peyton Manning’s second-to-last season. I’m sticking with that as well, and I predict them to be eliminated before the AFC championship game for the first time in the last decade.

RahimAli: I also sell the Patriots. I mean yeah they are struggling to get things going, but Brady doesn’t have all his weapons out there. He lost Dion Lewis, Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola from last year, which played a huge part in the team’s success in the run to the Super Bowl. They drafted Sony Michel, traded for Josh Gordon, and still waiting for Julian Edelman to come back from suspension. Once they all come back into the fold of things, we will see the Patriots team that we are all use to seeing. Like Mickayeen [stated], the division is a weak one and though Miami is 3-0, they haven’t really faced any of the top teams in the AFC. Miami has wins over the Titans, Jets, and Raiders [teams that] will probably all finish last in the division with so many questions to answer. Let’s not forget Brady is the “G.O.A.T.” and he always finds a way to win games.

I think the Patriots will once again lean on the running backs to help open the game, and then Brady throws it down the field to Edelman, Gordon, or [Rob] Gronkowski. Patriots should still win their division, but they will likely finish 10-6 like Mickayeen has said. Their key losses from here will be once to the Dolphins (later in the season), Packers, Steelers, and Vikings. But that could also change if their defense can get it together and stop the opponent from throwing the deep ball.


Mickayeen: The Kansas City Chiefs will represent the AFC in Super Bowl LII

CullenSell the Kansas City Chiefs winning the AFC.

The defense, while it should improve with the return of Eric Berry, needs more additions and internal improvements to help this high-potent offense. But if that doesn’t happen, if the defensive unit remains stagnant, then the Chiefs will fall before the Super Bowl.

Patrick Mahomes II looks great, yet he’s only 23 years old. A hiccup game is sure to come, and hopefully he’ll learn from that. (I expect he will.) Another thing harming this team’s Super Bowl chances is the head coach, Andy Reid. Reid is frightfully bad when it comes to the post-season, where his play-calling becomes ultra-conservative and his mismanagement of the time clock rears its ugly head at the most inopportune moments. He’s blown huge leads in the playoffs at times, and at other times he gets his teams down in such huge holes that they can’t dig themselves out in the remaining time.

I feel very confident in this statement: the Kansas City Chiefs will win a Super Bowl with Mahomes as their quarterback.

I feel just as confident in this statement: when that happens, Andy Reid will not be their head coach.

RahimAli: Sell the Chiefs winning the AFC. Although the Chiefs have started out hot with QB Patrick Mahomes throwing 13 touchdowns in three weeks, I don’t believe that this will continue. The Chiefs have played games against teams who are still trying to find themselves. The Chargers in week one were caught off guard by what Mahomes could actually do. The Steelers are lost without Le’Veon Bell on the field and that affects them defensively as well. And well, the 49ers had an identity, that was lost when Richard Sherman left and Jimmy Garoppolo went out with an injury. I wait for the game where the Chiefs offense is quiet and have to rely on the defense that isn’t what it used to be. That should be coming soon with the schedule getting tougher and games against tough defenses like the Broncos, Jaguars, Seahawks, and Rams. I think they may finally be able to make the playoffs while winning the division again, but they will not have enough left to get to the Super Bowl.


RahimAli: The Atlanta Falcons’ Depleted Defense Will Hold Up

CullenSelling on the defense–yet the Falcons will still sneak into the playoffs. I can see them winning another nine games this year to put them at 10-6, which will make it close in the NFC, but I believe it will be enough to get in.

This defense got shredded by the Saints, but lest we forget, the Saints are led by one of the top quarterbacks of all-time in Drew Brees. And despite Brees’ advanced age, he’s still got enough weapons to put up 30+ points every Sunday during regulation. While the Falcons should be concerned about their injured star defenders, it shouldn’t look to yesterday’s game as a projection for the year to come. Head coach Dan Quinn is a defensive-minded head coach (he was the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks before coming to Atlanta), so he’ll be able to make adjustments as the season progresses. While the NFC South is suddenly–and once again–looking like possibly the toughest division in football, with Quinn’s adjustments on defense and QB Matt Ryan running the offense, the Falcons should be fine.

Mickayeen: And I sell on the Falcons defense being able to hold up. That’s not to say anything bad about the talent they have. I don’t know of any team in the NFL who can hold up while losing over a quarter of their starting defense, especially when those three players are as good as Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen, and Deion Jones have been for the Falcons.

I agree with Cullen, though, in that I don’t think this spells doom for the team as a whole. Let’s not forget that Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP just two seasons ago. I don’t think there is any reason to doubt that he can put on an MVP-type performance for the remainder of the season, especially if Calvin Ridley continues to make strides in the offense like he did in week three. I think they still have enough talent to go 9-4 the rest of the way and sneak in as a Wild Card team.


Cullen: The Minnesota Timberwolves Will Make the Playoffs Despite the Jimmy Butler Situation

RahimAliBuy Timberwolves in the playoffs [despite the] Butler situation. The Western Conference is definitely the better of the two conferences and we all expect to see the Warriors and Rockets at the top again, but the Wolves made the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-2004 season and they could make it back there. I believe that they will get one of the last two playoffs spots available. They will hold off the Nuggets and Clippers and be led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Let’s not forget the Timberwolves will have other players who were part of the Butler deal to help them win more games and fill the void left by Butler

Mickayeen: I sell the T-Wolves making it to the playoffs without Butler in the West. They barely managed to make the eighth seed with him [in 2017-2018].

Let’s assume the Lakers make it in now that they have LeBron, and the Nuggets are definitely a better team than the Wolves without Butler, as it took the Wolves overtime to beat them with Butler in Minnesota in the last game of the season to make it in. So assuming the Lakers and Nuggets move into the playoffs, that means two teams are going to have to be out. It’s definitely not going to be the Warriors or Rockets. Most likely won’t be the Jazz, Thunder, or Spurs (They are basically last year’s team adding DeRozan). That leaves the Blazers, Pelicans, and T-Wolves as most likely to fall out of the playoffs the way I see it. The Pelicans might actually be better with the additions they made (Julian Randle, Elfrid Payton, Jahlil Okafor), and people need to remember how great Anthony Davis is. Those are the reasons I think the Pelicans will make it back and the Lakers and Nuggets will replace the Blazers and T-Wolves in the playoffs.


RahimAli: The Red Sox Will Continue Their Regular Season Domination Through the Playoffs and Win the World Series

Cullen: Nope. Sell on the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series. I think they’ll beat either the New York Yankees or Oakland Athletics in the ALDS, but then fall to the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Before the season began, I predicted the Astros winning the World Series in 5 games over the Cubs. I still feel strongly about that prediction.

The Red Sox and Astros have squared off seven times this season with the Astros winning four. The total score of those games: 34-31 in favor of Houston. Houston versus Boston would be an exciting pennant, especially with these teams stacked up so well against one another. The key difference between these squads will be the man calling the shots from the dugout. While Boston has thrived under first year manager Alex Cora (previously Houston’s bench coach), the Astros will benefit from A.J. Hinch guiding this team to the Promised Land last year. Additionally, while Boston may have the better overall record, they’ve actually outperformed their Pythagorean Record by six games while Houston has underperformed theirs by seven games. In the playoffs, take the team with the better Pythagorean, and that team just so happens to not be the Boston Red Sox.

Mickayeen: Okay. I’ll sell the Red Sox winning the World Series, but not for the same reasons as Cullen. I think the Sox will make it to the American League Championship series, but I think it’ll be against the Indians, not the Astros.

The Indians have four pitchers who have amassed over 200 strikeouts, which is absolutely incredible. They also have an MVP candidate, Jose Ramierez, leading their hitting and I think they’ll come up with enough well-timed hits to get the job done against both the Astros and Red Sox in the playoffs while the pitchers continue to mow both other lineups down.

As for Pythagorean, I can’t buy that just based on recent history. Only three of the past ten leaders in regular-season Pythagorean have gone on to win the World Series (2016 Cubs, 2013 Red Sox, 2009 Yankees). Baseball is just one of those sports where you have to go with the hottest team, and I believe the Indians (who just took two of three from the Red Sox) will catch fire and represent the AL in the World Series.


Mickayeen: The Vegas Knights Will Return to the Stanley Cup Finals

RahimAli: I sell the Vegas Golden Knights making it back to the finals. It’s simple: the NHL is the toughest when it comes winning back-to-back. The Pittsburgh Penguins managed to do that, but it wasn’t easy. The Knights are arguably one of the best teams in the Pacific division and that’s saying something, seeing how this was their first season in the league. It was truly a remarkable season last year to see an expansion team make it all the way to the finals. Unfortunately, they won’t make it back to the Finals this year. Especially with their division being one of the more competitive ones. I mean they have the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks in their division that could possibly make up half the field in the Western Conference playoff picture, but I don’t think that the Knights could make it that far again this season.

Cullen: I’m selling Vegas making it back to the Stanley Cup Finals. Several teams in the West became stronger this off-season, notably the San Jose Sharks when they landed Erik Karlsson and the St. Louis Blues when they acquired Ryan O’Reilly. Plus, there remains Nashville and Winnipeg, both of whom finished the regular season with better records and more points than Vegas.

While it looks like a two-team race for the Pacific between the Golden Knights and Sharks, the West as a whole will be much tougher to conquer in Year Two. Last year this team took the league by surprise. That won’t happen again. While Vegas should make the playoffs, couple the lack-of-surprise element with losses like David Perron (Blues) and James Neal (Calgary Flames), and this team will fall short of representing the Western Conference in the Finals in 2019.


What does everyone else think? Hit us up in the comments!



The Future of NHL Expansion

IMG_3534” by Dinur is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Tucker Franklin

Tucker Franklin is the founder of Nosebleed Knowledge. For more content from him go to nosebleedknowledge.wordpress.com

In an expansion year in the NHL, the infant club in Vegas took the league by storm. Seeing the organization make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals provokes thoughts on how the league would handle adding another team, possibly in Canada.


To decide if the NHL should entertain further expansion, the NHL Board of Governors accepted applications for new franchises during the 2015 offseason. Two potential ownership groups submitted applications for prospective teams in Las Vegas and Quebec City. Where the new team landed geographically between two conferences was not a primary consideration for the NHL. The earliest time when a new franchise could start play was the 2017–18 season. On June 22, 2016, the NHL approved expansion to Las Vegas starting in the 2017–18 season with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Quebec City submission was deferred to a later date.

Quebec City has hosted two NHL teams in its history. The first team to call the city home was the Quebec Bulldogs. They lasted for 42 years when they moved to Hamilton, Ontario. The second and more well known team is the Quebec Nordiques. The Nordiques laid claim to the city from 1972 to 1979 in the World Hockey Association, and from then on to 1995 as an NHL team. That same year the team to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche.

The challenge for teams in Quebec City is the market size. Quebec City would now be in the league’s second-smallest market, ahead of only Winnipeg. However, Silver’s analysis suggested that the Quebec City market was comparable to those of Winnipeg, Buffalo, and Washington, D.C. in terms of avid hockey fans.


After the NHL’s most recent expansion, it now brings the total number of teams to 31. The teams are split into two conferences, 16 in the Eastern Conference and 15 Western Conference. To make the league complete they needs to add another expansion team. While the Western Conference lacks one team and Quebec lays on the east coast, this doesn’t prove to be a problem. What the league should do is create a new expansion franchise in a western city such as Seattle or Kansas City and move the team in Carolina to Quebec City to make an equal 16 on each side.

The Carolina Hurricanes have been bitten by attendance woes and the league has threatened to pull the organization from Charlotte. In this year’s home opener, Carolina could only draw 7,892 to PNC Arena. After two home games this year the Hurricanes are second to last in total and average attendance, only to the Islanders who have played one of their home games on a Monday afternoon.

In years past, the city of Quebec has been called on to host preseason games. Before the 2011–12 season, an exhibition game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning was played at the Colisée Pepsi, the former home of the Nordiques. The Canadiens were well received despite being from Montreal. The Canadiens were the away team on the scoreboard for this event. Montreal was also scheduled to host the Carolina Hurricanes at the Colisée Pepsi in 2012, but that game was canceled due to a league wide lockout. In Sept. 2012, construction started on an 18,000-seat arena in Quebec City that would eventually become known as Centre Vidéotron. The arena cost $400 million and was split equally between the provincial and municipal governments. The arena opened three years later.

With a new arena, a fan base wanting to get back involved and a fellow franchise struggling with attendance, this has created a perfect storm for Quebec to take advantage of the situation and put themselves back into the league.