It’s outstanding that Ryan Shazier can walk again, but he’s also a reminder of what football can do to a person. 

By Dan Gartland
April 27, 2018

I’m really conflicted about Ryan Shazier

Let me say first that I’m thrilled Ryan Shazier was able to walk across the stage last night to announce the Steelers’ pick. On the night he got injured, it really didn’t look like he’d ever be able to do that. But I’m also having trouble viewing this as an inspirational story. 

I couldn’t help but wince as Shazier, a linebacker known for his explosive burst, held a vise-like grip on his fiancée’s hand as he labored to walk across the stage. So while it’s inspiring that he’s worked so hard just to be able to take those few unsteady steps, it’s also dispiriting that he looks like he’ll never be the player he once was. Football did that to him—there’s no denying that. 

The NFL draft is all about hope. Every player selected last night is an unknown at the NFL level; any player could be the next great Hall of Famer. But Shazier also reminded us that football is a brutal game that could break any of those promising athletes.

Knock it off, Marchand

Every once in a while a league has to step in to legislate something that’s not in the rule book, like when the NHL adjusted its unsportsmanlike conduct rule to take Sean Avery’s jackassery into account. Give Bruins pest Brad Marchand credit for being the latest to force the league to address a situation it never thought it would. 

From Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman

After Game 1 of the Toronto/Boston series, the Bruins got a, “We’d prefer if you could tell Brad Marchand to stop licking people” phone call from the NHL.

 

Dee Gordon’s play-by-play of an eagle landing on James Paxton

The video from Twins Opening Day of the eagle landing on Mariners pitcher James Paxton was already one of my favorite moments of baseball’s first month. Dee Gordon’s recollection of the incident has easily surpassed that.

Bits & Pieces

This is stupid but fun—tracking Charlie Blackmon’s on-field performance by the length of his beard. ... This maniac covered his entire torso in a soccer jersey tattoo. ... A man in Florida caught a catfish twice as big as the state record, a whopping 120 pounds.  ... This guy is 70 years old but still diving off of cliffs. ... Some very bored movie theater employee must have decided to play a horror trailer before a kids movie

The two best-dressed draft prospects

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, who went to the Titans at No. 22, looked sharp as hell in this crimson suit. (Please note the dual championship rings, as well.)

Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

But my award for best-dressed of the night has to go to Iowa center James Daniels, who managed to be stylish and exceedingly comfortable all at once.

(You can see more NFL draft fashion here.)

Mazel tov, Josh Rosen

It’s never as bad as you think

Avatar: The Last...

Hehehe

That’s the spirit, kid

My sons team is starting to check this spring and was told to only hit players who have the puck. He passed it to a player on the other team and then hit him... from r/hockey

The Golden Knights bring it again with another wild intro performance

A good song

Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or ping me on Twitter. Click here for previous editions of Hot Clicks. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)