Joe Judge Morning Shootaround
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get into the day that was… and the night to come.

ESNY Morning Shootaround logo

Welcome to the Morning Shootaround! The new calendar will bring some new things to the ESNY shop, and one is a daily wakeup with everything you need(ed) to know about the sports scene from the previous day/night.

If you didn’t hear him on Saturday night after he led the Chiefs to a big win over the Broncos, Patrick Mahomes gently tossed Giants quarterback Daniel Jones under the bus. We’ll admit it: we laughed.

Here’s what we’re watching tonight:

  • CFP National Championship Game:
    #3 Georgia vs. #1 Alabama — 7:00 PM ET
  • NBA: Spurs @ Knicks — 7:30 PM ET
  • NBA: Nets @ Blazers — 10:00 PM ET
  • NHL: Rangers @ Kings — 10:30 PM ET
  • NHL: Lightning @ Devils — Postponed

NFL

We finally, mercifully put an end to the 2021 seasons for the New York Giants and New York Jets. But the season didn’t end without a parting shot from Joe Judge’s team… which, remember, isn’t a clown show.

From inside their own five yard line, the Giants ran consecutive quarterback sneaks on second and 11 and then third and nine. ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky was kind enough to break it down for us.

The fan reaction? At least from those who didn’t head for the exits before halftime?

Even though they lost (again) on Sunday, the New York Jets have a few things to look forward to, maybe the biggest of which is the quarterback they selected in the 2021 draft. After their final loss of the season, head coach Robert Saleh spoke well of rookie Zach Wilson’s development this year.

The good news? We now know that the Giants and Jets own, combined, four of the top ten overall selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. Thanks, Bears and Seahawks!

WNBA

On Sunday the New York Liberty officially introduced their new head coach, Sandy Brondello.

NHL

The New York Rangers announced Sunday that head coach Gerard Gallant has been placed in COVID protocol. He won’t coach the team in Los Angeles on Monday night.

The New Jersey Devils‘ game on Monday night was postponed over the weekend, again because of COVID.

MLB

The New York Yankees made a little history on Sunday, naming Rachel Balkovec the manager of the Tampa Tarpons. She becomes the first woman manager in Minor League Baseball. We can’t wait to see how she helps the future of the Pinstripes!

Not everything is happy in baseball, however. The Washington Post published a lengthy story about the pending lawsuit that challenges Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption. Lawyers representing the Staten Island Yankees — an organization that lost their affiliation when MLB took over MiLB — and three other teams filed the suit in late December.

In the collectibles market, an autographed Mickey Mantle card sold for over $57,000 this weekend.

Elsewhere

Klay Thompson returned to the court for the first time in more than 900 days for the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. He dunked! And scored 17 points in a debut that had all the feels.

Did you watch the insane Sunday Night Football game? We were two (2) seconds from a tie that sent Ben Roethlisberger into retirement but the Raiders kicked a walk-off field goal again to send the Chargers to their offseason instead.

Two NFL coaches in the NFC North lost their jobs on Monday morning. The Chicago Bears, whose first-round pick is owned by the Giants, let Matt Nagy go. And their opponent on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings, have fired Mike Zimmer.