For What It's Not Worth
Cam Newton is back. Is this good for the Patriots? (Photo: Louriann Mardo-Zayat)
By BUNKY McCOY
• What does eight touchdown passes and 10 interceptions for a team that went 7-9 last season buy you? If your name is Cam Newton, it’s the chance to stage an encore act with the Patriots.
• What does Bill Belichick see in Cam? If you can figure that out, maybe you can get to the bottom of why the Hoodie benched Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl a few years back. Or who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.
• Only in America you can perform at a subpar level and receive a bump in pay. For if every incentive is reached, Newton would earn up to $14 million this season. Then again Cam’s chances for those All-Pro and MVP bonuses are as long as Gina Raimondo returning to Rhode Island with a parade.
• While we’re stuck with Newton, the Buccaneers signed Tom Brady – aka Superman in cleats – to a deal that will keep him in Tampa Bay through the 2022 season. Ah, what might have been.
• QUIZ OF THE WEEK: Rick Pitino becomes the third college basketball coach to take five different programs to the NCAA Tournament. Who are the other two coaches? (Answer near the bottom of the column.)
• The NCAA Tournament bracket is set—and four teams are on standby for COVID cancellations. That’s kind of like finishing 5th-8th at the Miss America Pageant?
• Sticking with the NCAA, it might be a good idea to have a boxing official on standby in the event things escalate between UConn’s Dan Hurley and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon. Those two didn’t exactly hit it off during the 2015 Cancun Challenge.
• Speaking of Turgeon, Big Ten officials would be wise not to put him in the same golf foursome as Michigan head coach Juwan Howard at the next league meetings.
• You don’t have to be James Carville to see what R.I. Governor Dan McKee did in offering the COVID vaccine to teachers. You take care of me now. This way, you can take care of me when Election Day rolls around in a few years.
• I’m all ears if anyone wants to explain the purpose behind Daylight Savings Time.
• The hoopla surrounding the Grammys jumped the shark a long time ago.
• The next press conference that President Biden attends and answers questions will be the first.
• The 2021 NBA trade deadline is on March 25 and teams like the Celtics will have to decide whether they are buyers or sellers in the next few weeks.
• Salutations to former ProJo sports columnist Bill Reynolds for earning the Big East’s Media Award, For Distinguished Contributions to College Basketball. When it comes to the history of the Big East, few can match the insight that my Uncle Bunky can provide.
• Speaking of ex-ProJo guys, if the roster of talented writers at Kevin McNamara’s KevinMcSports is going to include more Art Martone’s, where do I sign up for a few gift subscriptions?
• RIP Marvin Hagler, one of the great middleweights in boxing history. I’m still trying to make sense from the 1987 split division victory that Sugar Ray Leonard was awarded against Marvelous.
• QUIZ ANSWER: Lon Kruger (UNLV, Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas State) and Tubby Smith (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech).
• Good news as former WPRO sports talk host Andy Gresh is back on the airwaves. No truth to the rumor that the first time he mentions the words `college basketball’ on WEEI he will be banished back to Seekonk.
• This column would have been a little longer, but I’m grabbing my golf ball retriever and heading to the Island Green at TPC Sawgrass. There were a few misfires at good ole No. 17 at this past weekend’s Players Championship.