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Ball Five: Sooners, Vikings losses took bowl games joy right out of me

Nothing like a couple of disappointing football games to ruin what is usually two days of college bowls games.
After my Oklahoma Sooners lost to Alabama on Saturday and the Vikings got dismantled by the Bears on Sunday, the bowl games just didn’t have much appeal come Monday and Tuesday.
I did try to watch the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. In the Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all, in the most beautiful football stadium of them all, Ohio State was too much better than Washington for the game to hold my attention. It got more interesting late, but never got fraught with drama. Then in the Sugar Bowl you would think that watching Texas put a thumping on favorite Georgia would be good television. Not really. When you are a Sooner fan, watching Texas be really good is not all that enthralling.
Speaking of the Sooners, there are reports that quarterback Kyler Murray is becoming conflicted about his future. Remember, he already has $4.6 million or something like that, as a signing bonus to play baseball for the Oakland A’s. As an outfielder, he’s a first-round pick expected to be a quality pro ball player. In football, he’s a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback. A year ago, becoming a baseball player was an obvious choice. He was second string to last year’s Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. But, after turning into the best quarterback in college, maybe he’s becoming intrigued about playing in the NFL. Murray is listed at 5’10” and 195 pounds, but he looks more like 5’9” and a buck eighty to me. Sure, he’s the fastest QB in all the land and can spin a football with anybody, but man, even Russell Wilson is big compared to him.
So, you look at it both ways. As a baseball player, he stands to make a lot of money if he makes it. There are not guarantees there. Being a first-round pick in baseball is not like it is in football. But, if he makes it in baseball and becomes a star, he stands to make millions for a lot of years. Then there is football. He will most probably be a first rounder and will make pretty good money for five years. Then it will be up to his ability and his health to be able to turn football into anything close to the money baseball could provide. It’s a tough choice. Maybe the toughest choice is will he be willing to give the $4.6 million back to the A’s. We’ll know more pretty soon I would bet.
Now the Vikings. That was a yucker on Sunday. I’ve already heard the game described as a microcosm of a lost season.
I agree, but with a caveat. In the NFL, teams not only have to have talent and chemistry, they have to get hot and stay healthy. The Vikings suffered all sorts of injuries to very important players all season. In fact, they were playing Sunday without all-pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes and middle linebacker Eric Kendricks.
A team also has to have a good schedule. I hope you all realize what the Vikings faced on the road this season. Of course, they played division foes Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit on the road, but what about outside the division. How about a schedule that made them go to the Rams, Eagles, Patriots and Seahawks this year. Okay, the fifth game was the Jets, but hey, you can’t play every road game against a playoff team. And those other four teams, well, let me tell you. The Rams are 13-3, the Patriots 11-5, the Seahawks 10-6, and the Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champs, are going back to the playoffs thanks to the Vikings’ loss.
In sports there’s always next year. I expect we can expect better things out of the Vikings next season. They will be in year two with their quarterback, they have a long offseason for players to get healthy, and they have a second-place team’s schedule. They won’t break our hearts until later next season.
Tigers at Ellendale: On Saturday, the Tigers and Lady Tigers played a doubleheader in Ellendale. That marks the first time in the history of the programs that they have gone into North Dakota for a doubleheader. It makes it all the better that Mobridge-Pollock earned the sweep.
For the record, Ellendale is the 62nd different team the Lady Tigers have played and the 107th different team the Tigers have played.