Friday, January 17, 2020

Another Gameday For Davidson

This story about the Houston Astros and the sign-stealing is pretty amazing.

It has come out that Astros were stealing signs during their 2017 World Series championship season. That's pretty extraordinary.

This is probably going to end up being one of the biggest cheating scandals in sports history. There are already new reports coming out about the extent to which the team went to steal signs and to relay them, including the possibility that players wore buzzers under their uniforms.

Of course, the question of whether or not sign-stealing should be illegal is another issue. Teams try to do it all the time in other sports, right, especially football.

Shouldn't the onus be on teams to figure out how not to get their signs stolen? Ah, that's a different subject - the reality is that in baseball, stealing signs is illegal.

And the punishments have already been harsh.

The Astros saw their GM and manager suspended for a year and then subsequently fired. Alex Cora, a bench coach at the time with the Astros, was fired as manager of the Red Sox - this after he led them to the 2018 World Series title.

Carlos Beltran is out without ever managing a game for the New York Mets. He was implicated as a player with Houston.

What about if other players are caught, current players? Will they face one-year suspensions?

And, taken to the extreme, could the Astros be stripped of their championship?

It's a fascinating story.

And then there's Odell Beckham Jr., who apparently has some issues with his need for attention. First he handed out either real or fake money to LSU players after the national championship game Monday night. Then he slapped a police officer's butt and subsequently was charge with simple battery.

The worst part is the way he's taken away from the players on the LSU team, a group that has just completed one of the best seasons any college football team has ever had. And there's Beckham, trying to make himself part of it.

The question is, who would want him on their team? What has he ever done other than make a few really spectacular catches with the Giants?

He certainly wasn't much of a factor this year for the Browns. In fact, he had exactly three more TD receptions than Princeton alum Stephen Carlson did for the team.

Speaking of Princeton football and the NFL, it's been a great week for Kevin Davidson as he prepares for tomorrow's East-West Shrine Bowl. That game, which is being played in St. Petersburg, Fla., kicks off at 3 and can be seen on the NFL Network.

There were 70 players from last year's game on NFL rosters this year. It's obviously a big step in the direction of getting into the league.

Davidson's path to this stage hasn't exactly been typical. In fact, you can read a lot more about his story.

Davidson was the backup quarterback for his first three years, though he wasn't backing up just any quarterbacks. There were two NFL quarterbacks, well, NFL players, in front of him, first Chad Kanoff and John Lovett together, then just Kanoff and then just Lovett.

He did have one big moment in the 10-0 season in 2018, when he threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Brown. He then started all 10 games this year, and despite being only a one-year starter, he finished his career seventh all-time at Princeton in touchdown passes and 12th in passing yards.

That's not easy to do in basically one season.

Oh, and he's also the Ivy League record holder for touchdown passes in a game with seven, which he did against Bucknell this season.

Davidson is 6-4 and 225 pounds, and he certainly looks the part of an NFL quarterback. He also has an NFL level arm, that's for sure. And that was obvious from the first pass he threw in that Brown game a year ago, a 39-yard pass to Carlson that was perfectly placed.

There were NFL scouts at Princeton games all season, and Davidson impressed them from start to finish.

The game itself is probably the least important part of the week at a senior all-star game. The practices, run while NFL coaches watch, are way more important, and by all accounts Davidson has had a superior week there.

This game, it appears, will not be his last one.

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