DK Metcalf makes an extremely difficult play, catching Budda Baker, who had a 10 yard head start, by running the length of the field.

USA Today

It was locked up. A done deal. Over.

Within all reasonable expectations of how a football game should and could end, we were on the verge of Miller Time. Instead, as gamblers, we faced heartbreak. Agony. Torture. Defeat. Tickets, once as golden as Charlie's to the Wonka factory, now as worthless as the paper they were printed on.

Obviously, I'm talking about Sunday night's wonky, ass backwards, very no-good game between the Seahawks and the Cardinals. Let this article serve as a postmortem and an exorcism.


Personally, I had the Seahawks down for 11 confidence points in my weekly Pick'em pool. If they won, I won a cool hundred bucks. Meanwhile, 240 miles away in Las Vegas, my cousin had an eight team moneyline parlay, which had run the gauntlet of frenzied finishes from Philly's Thursday night comeback to Cleveland's how-did-he-catch-that score and through the Lions shouldn't-have-even-had-the-ball-Todd-Gurley-accidental-TD final seconds TD drive. It was all set up for the Seahawks to waltz to a victory in the desert.

As the kickoff approached, high on the prospect of our respective victories, we decided to double down and bet the undefeated Hawks -3.5 over the scrappy home team with an easy schedule and bad losses in their rear view mirror. Seattle has transformed into an offensive juggernaut this season on the strength of magician-like Russell Wilson and his absurd 22 TDs. He actually tied Peyton Manning's record through six games last night with a trio of Tyler Lockett receptions. Two of which were absolute dimes, one a 47 yard moonshot and the other a perfectly floated pass from around the right hash at the 10 yard line to the back left corner of the end zone where Lockett tapped his toes.

Tyler Lockett catching another touchdown from Russell Wilson. Alika Jenner/NFL)

With 6:43 in the fourth quarter, that last one felt like the death blow, sealing not only a win, but the easy cover. How much more could happen in those intervening minutes? By conventional wisdom, the momentum rested with Seattle. They just had to stop the Cardinals one time and run out the clock. However, as The Ringer's Kevin Clark tweeted with evergreen wisdom: "The Seahawks have literally never played in a normal game."

...and, apparently, they never will.

This axiom crossed my mind during the interception exchange on back-to-back plays early in the final quarter. Even on the almost pick-six turned 90ish yard rundown by DK Metcalf doing his best Lebron impression, which led to a goal line stand, which begat a six play 97 yard Seattle TD drive. That was the weirdness. That wasn't normal. That was all behind us now. It was time to coast.

Things didn't get worrisome until the field goal attempt with 3:02 on the clock. The shaky Seattle D had done its job, Kyler's drive sputtering out on a 3rd and 12. The Cardinals opted to kick and hope for an onside recovery or a defensive stop. The ball sailed through the uprights, right before a yellow flag sailed through the night air.

Both Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth agreed that you don't take points off the board for a five yard offsides penalty that wouldn't get you a first down. One problem: It wasn't an offsides penalty. It was UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT, meaning 15 yards and a fresh set of downs. A Seahawks defender, a man whose name I refuse to learn out of fear of what I'll do, jumped on the back of an Arizona lineman–a choice that was as pointless as it was boneheaded.

Of course, Arizona goes down and punches their way into the end zone. Suddenly, -3.5 looks dead in the water, but a simple win still preserves the pick'em and parlay.

Somehow, Seattle, a team that seems to run the ball and conjure first downs at will, couldn't drain the clock, getting stuffed on a 3rd and short and forced to punt. It became completely obvious to everyone this game was destined for overtime.

It was, and Seattle won the toss. Of course, the game was far from a guarantee, but this might work in our favor. If they could score a touchdown to end it on that first possession, we'd win it all, including those -3.5 bets. Each twist and turn of this game heightened my investment and anxiety.

What did Seattle do? Well, go negative three plays, including two sacks, and draw a false start before a punt. At this point, the Arizona comeback felt inevitable and, frankly, I was looking forward to the sweet release from this nightmare.

That's how it played out, all the way up until the Cardinals iced their own kicker to avoid a delay of game. He made the kick nullified by the timeout and promptly shanked his second try.

I may never forget the feeling of watching DK Metcalf turn the corner and sprint down the sideline unimpeded across the goal line. It was all worth it, it all worked out, the Seahawks really are the luckiest team in the world. Until they weren't, and it all came crashing down, the block that sprung DK was an obvious hold. It was an emotional whiplash of the highest order. The high and low that only sports can provide.

The next play Wilson looked very un-Wilson-like and wafted a duck into the hands of a defender. Finally, my half hour long stroke was about to end. This time the Cardinals didn't miss the game winner, and my brain disassociated from reality just long enough to make the whole thing pretty hilarious.

An hour later, I saw that graph, charting the win probability of the game. The dramatic ups and downs mirror exactly what my heart would have looked like hooked up to an EKG during those final minutes of the game. Staring at it, I remembered each moment with morbid fascination. I clicked it off and had one thought, "I hope 'Monday Night Football' is half as good as this."

Steph Curry has came back from injury with one of his best seasons as a pro

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports

As we're just over a week away from seeing the new play-in format the NBA has decided to go with this season, it means that teams are vying to be in the top 10 in their respective conferences to keep their postseason dreams alive.

We have seen LeBron James make public statements opposing the new format even though it was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last year. It's understandable that James would have negative feelings about the new format as his Lakers have struggled throughout the season as both him and superstar teammate, Anthony Davis, have dealt with injuries which have caused them to miss significant time.

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Cole Irvin is making waves on the west coast for the Oakland A's

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Baseball is a game of hot streaks and slumps, and as a fantasy baseball manager it's sometimes difficult to know when to part with someone on your roster to take a chance on someone new.

Here we'll examine three players you may want to consider moving on from if you have them rostered, and provide three potential replacements for them. Just like in real baseball, sometimes you have to make the tough moves in order to win. But if you don't know what the right moves are to make then you just end up looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates of your fantasy league.

Here's some advice for you so you don't become the Pirates of your league.


First Up

Cole Irvin Oakland A's SP (30% Rostered in Yahoo)

Irvin hasn't allowed more than two runs in the past four starts and will carry a 3.09 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 34/5 strikeout to walk ratio heading into his next one against Tampa Bay this weekend. To put how effective Irvin has been into perspective, he's averaging nearly a strikeout per inning while only .1 walk per inning.

Even if Irvin comes back down to earth a little, now is the time to pick him up while he's riding this hot streak. He is coming off a game against the hard-hitting Blue Jays where we saw him set his career-high in strikeouts with nine over eight innings. Take into consideration he has three quality starts (out of six) and his most recent loss was to the Rays who he sees again on Saturday. In that last appearance against Tampa he went six innings, striking out eight, allowed only two runs and earned a quality start in a loss.

If you're looking for a long term option at starting pitcher, Irvin presents a great opportunity to snag a hidden gem off waivers but don't expect him to last much longer if he puts in another strong performance against the Rays on Saturday.


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Oshae Brissett

AP Photo

Who needs an Avengers incorporated ESPN broadcast when the real nerd-sports crossover is right here?

Welcome to the final round of the basketball fantasy season. You're either in the championship or you've decided that you wanted to set your lineups early and actually enjoy watching basketball.

In any case, you need to fill your rosters and we have the players you need to look out for on those waiver wires.

Booms

Oshae Brissett Guard/Forward Indiana Pacers

You'd be excused for not knowing who Oshae Brissett was before this week. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and started his professional career in the NBA G League. Now, he is making a name for himself in Indianapolis.

Last week, the former Syracuse forward averaged 16 points, made three three-pointers, 10.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and four blocks. With multiple Pacers players fighting injuries, Brissett should have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent contributor in the final stretch of the NBA season.

Ricky Rubio Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves

Much like the Timberwolves, it has been an objectively bad statistical year for the Rubio. Also much like the Timberwolves, even he can have a span of success. Rubio didn't provide a ton in any category this past week, but he did average a solid 10.5 points, 1.8 made threes, four rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers.

Rubio may have had a good week, but even his good week isn't much in terms of massive contributions. He may be high on last week's rankings, but he isn't worth the pick-up unless you're really desperate for steals and assists.

Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons

Stewart goes back-to-back on the list despite his scoring numbers dropping. In three games last week, Stewart scored 11 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds, one steal and 3.3 blocks.

While minutes volatility is still a fear with any Pistons player, Stewart has shown that he can contribute in four or more categories for another week. Pick him up for the rest of the season if you can.

Saddiq Bey Small Forward Detroit Pistons

Bey may still be figuring out how to be successful in the league, but at least he can score like a seasoned vet. In three games last week, he averaged 17 points, four made threes, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

He's still a liability in terms of accuracy (39.5 percent from the field last week), but if you need scoring and rebounding, there aren't a ton of other options on the waiver.

Busts

Dillon Brooks Guard/Forward Memphis Grizzlies

The former Duck has developed into a consistent scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he doesn't provide much else. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, but only managed to average 1.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.

He may not provide much in fantasy, but Memphis is fighting hard to stay in the playoff picture. Brooks will have plenty of chances to keep up his scoring numbers so if that's something you require, he is a great option to give you a boost.

Duncan Robinson Guard/Forward Miami Heat

Shooters in fantasy basketball are DCEU movies: Sure, you'll get a Snyder cut of "Justice League" or "Wonder Woman," but you have to wade through the other travesties to really appreciate them. Duncan Robinson's last week was "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"-esque.

In four games, Robinson averaged three made three-pointers but only 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. People aren't picking up Robinson for his other stats, but if he's not scoring or shooting at an elite level, he's a tough pickup at best.

Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks

Gallinari's up and down year hit another valley last week when he averaged 10.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

With Kevin Huerter and Bodgan Bogdanovic to compete with for minutes, anything consistent from the Italian baller can't be counted on moving forward.

Delon Wright Guard/Forward Sacramento Kings

Wright was making the most of his minutes in Detroit but since he was traded to Sacramento, his lack of opportunity has been frustrating for anyone who manages him. In four games last week, he averaged 10 points, one made three, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals.

If you are holding out hope that Wright will step up in the finals weeks of the season, I have a monorail I think you'd be interested in.