He won’t be able to do this in Phoenix
J.J. Watt may be headed to the blistering heat of Arizona pretty soon, but he’s still spending his offseason training on the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.
Watt bought a cabin in “the middle of nowhere” (Summit, Wis.) in 2015. He called it “minimalistic” but in reality it’s 4,500 square feet and has an elevator. Watt’s workout regimen belies the cushy accommodations, though. His training sounds like a Rocky montage.
On Thursday, he wanted to cap off his workout with an ice bath, but not just any ice bath. Watt wanted to dunk his 290-pound frame into a frozen lake. Except, when he tried to cut a hole in the ice with a chainsaw, it wouldn’t crack the surface, so it looks like Watt and his training partners had to hack a hole with shovels.
It’s stuff like this that had Packers fans convinced Watt was going to come home to play in Green Bay, but he was apparently drawn to the warmer weather in the Valley of the Sun.
“I’m also not going to lie to you. It’s nice when it’s 65 and sunny when I woke up this morning,” Watt told reporters at his introductory press conference.
We’ll see how he feels when it’s 115 degrees in the summer.
Over in the world of soccer, third-tier Czech side Slavia Karlovy Vary lost to Slavia Prague, the country’s most powerful club, 10–3 in Czech Cup action. It wasn’t all bad for Karlovy Vary, though. The smaller team turned plenty of heads with this clever set piece routine.
The Karlovy Vary players huddled up in a circle and pretended to discuss strategy, then broke apart as the kick was delivered, leaving the Prague defense flummoxed.
I bring this up because it’s funny to see such a simple strategy work so well and because it reminded me of something from when I played lacrosse in high school.
The coach of our freshman team was called Coach G. He was a boisterous guy fresh out of college who would have fit right in on the cast of Jersey Shore. He drew up a play for us that looked a lot like this one. A player would run behind the goal with the ball and the other five players on offense would bunch up about 15 yards in front of the goal. The guy with the ball would yell something and everybody would streak toward the goal with their stick up, calling for the pass. He called this play “New York” because he was from Long Island and wasn’t great at coming up with creative play names.
It worked almost flawlessly. A freshman team isn’t disciplined enough on defense to adjust its assignments that quickly. One or two guys would always be open, and so we ran it in most games.
The next year, Coach G left and started coaching the JV at the school across town. At one point in our game against Coach G’s new team, we saw our rivals setting up this unmistakable play. All the sophomores on the sideline immediately started yelling “New York! New York! New York!” Our new coach had no idea what we were screaming about, and neither did the majority of the guys on the field.
The play resulted in a goal, of course, after which Coach G pointed at our sideline, cackling maniacally. I think he might have even grabbed his crotch.
The best of SI
It’s been 30 years since Dee Brown started a sneaker war with his dunk contest performance. ... Several states are pushing to pass name, image and likeness laws to benefit college athletes in hopes it’ll give their schools an edge. ... Evaluating every NBA team at the midpoint of the season.
Around the sports world
ESPN recently tried to bring back Skip Bayless and reunite him with Stephen A. Smith but he’s staying with Fox on a contract worth $32 million. ... Joe Montana says there is no debating Tom Brady’s status as the greatest quarterback ever. ... An investigation by a Nashville TV station found that Middle Tennessee State’s football coach violated nepotism rules by hiring his son. The station even obtained video of the farcical job interview. ... The Penguins reprimanded a staffer after the team Twitter account posted a photo of fans with masks Photoshopped on. ... An aviation technician who survived the deadly plane crash involving Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense just survived a bus crash that killed two dozen people in Bolivia. ... Wayne Gretzky’s father, Walter, died at age 82.
A rare hockey buzzer beater
Don’t celebrate too early
“You love the guy to be blond. You’d love the guy to have a 1 and a 6 on his jersey.”
First look at LeBron’s Space Jam sequel
Do it, Bryson!
RG 3-inch shorts
A porcelain bowl purchased at a Connecticut tag sale for $35 turned out to be worth $500,000. ... Orangutans and bonobos at the San Diego Zoo became the first non-humans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. ... A Texas representative who was the only Republican in Congress to vote for a bill claimed he accidentally pressed the wrong button.
Adidas collaborated with an Estonian rapper to make three-foot shoes
A Dutch guy invented a coronavirus test where you scream in a glass box
A good song
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