The 2022 Christmas-Wrapped RedState Sports Summary

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, in-between opening presents plus watching Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken behave themselves for once so as not to be passed over by Hockey Claus, we watched some sports over the Christmas 2022 weekend. A few notes:


Hockey: Not long ago, Boxing Day was a big NHL day with a plethora of marquee matchups. In the past few years, the NHL has scheduled no games on December 24th through 26th. Good for them, although some hockey would be a pleasant diversion from rampaging relatives raging around the Christmas tree.

There was a bit of hockey news in that, while as yet unconfirmed, talk is the 2024 Stadium Series outdoor game will be the Seattle Kraken and Vegas Golden Knights in Seattle. Said games always feature throwback jerseys, which might be challenging in the case of Seattle and Vegas. What the Golden Knights could come up with is anyone’s guess, but if Seattle doesn’t go the Metropolitans route we’re going to be very disappointed.

Baseball: The Hot Stove League also took the weekend off. Our vast network of insiders informs us that the most popular gift in baseball front offices across the land was the Theragun, necessitated by the alarming increase in muscle cramps incurred by writing insanely large checks to newly acquired free agents. Except for the San Francisco Giants.

Speaking of the free agent bomb-out boys, their misfortune might be the Oakland A’s gain, at least as far as remaining in Oakland. While the Giants are far and away the more popular team in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco is stuck chasing third place in their division, as they lack the hitting, pitching, and defense to challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. This has resulted in the days of automatic sellouts at Oracle Park leaving the station. While the A’s may be, at best, marginally better in 2023 than 2022, which considering how abysmal they were last year is clearing a very low bar indeed, having the Giants irrelevant in any pennant chase can only bolster their chances for getting a new stadium deal. Adding to the intrigue is how, despite baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s open longing for the team to relocate to Las Vegas, there is zero political will in said direction. Frankly, they don’t want the team.


Supposedly, there will be a critical vote in early 2023 by the Oakland City Council regarding the A’s desire to build a new waterfront stadium close to downtown Oakland at Howard Terminal. Since this involves California politicians in general and San Francisco Bay Area politicians in particular, don’t place wagers over a wooden nickel on any final decisions transpiring. A side note to all this is that GM extraordinaire Billy Beane is now “special advisor” to A’s owner John Fisher. Don’t be overly surprised if Fisher, noted as the worst team owner in professional sports whose name hasn’t come up in a sexism or racism scandal, washes his hands of the whole thing by letting Beane bring together Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, who’s gone on record stating he has a standing offer to buy the team, and Oakland native/A’s legend Dave Stewart to keep the A’s in Oakland. Should the Howard Terminal deal fall apart, Messrs. Beane, Lacob, and Stewart would undoubtedly shrug their collective shoulders and build a new stadium on the Oakland Coliseum site. All the talk about how great a downtown ballpark would be, as opposed to the Coliseum site which is located in a light industrial area, goes out the window the moment you go to downtown Oakland. Trust me; I’ve been there.


Basketball: Even if you hate the NBA, tune in the next time the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies play to enjoy the fireworks of two talented teams who really don’t like each other.

Football: Three significant stories from the Christmas Day 2022 games. The first came out of Miami. Instead of seeing three ships on Christmas Day, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw three fourth-quarter interceptions en route to losing to the Green Bay Packers, who probably weren’t all that upset this was a road game. December 26 saw Tagovailoa enter concussion protocol for the second time this year, said concussion most likely taking place on this play.

If this was when the concussion occurred, Tagovailoa played the second half with no one noticing he was incapacitated. While taking every player whose head hits the ground out of the game for a test would be impractical in the extreme, for players at high risk due to previous concussions, there has to be better monitoring to minimize situations such as this from occurring.


The other two stories emanated from Los Angeles, where the Rams took full frustration release over a lost season by destroying the Denver Broncos 51-14. Baker Mayfield, starting for his third team in the calendar year, looked every bit a Number One draft pick as he shredded an excellent Broncos defense with such efficiency the Rams never had to punt. Denver’s game was so miserable it finally pushed the Broncos’ front office into waving the white flag and firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett, whose job has been painfully out of his ability since day one.

Meanwhile, the Rams and Mayfield have some deep thinking ahead. Los Angeles would love to keep Mayfield as a backup to, and eventual replacement for, Matthew Stafford, who has already said he plans on coming back next year. However, would Mayfield be happy in such a role? Certainly, every team needing a quarterback upgrade (*coughindianpoliscoltscough*) is pouring over the Rams-Broncos game film with ever-widening eyes at how superb Mayfield played behind a patchwork offensive line and several key Rams offensive weapons, most noticeably wide receiver Cooper Kupp, out due to injury. However, these other teams don’t have Sean McVay running the show. It promises to be a most interesting off-season.



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