Tune in to this week’s episode of “Halftime on the Hilltop,” with the original crew to hear them discuss all the sports madness from this month — from Milan Bolden-Morris’s trailblazing hiring as Michigan football assistant quarterback coach to Deshaun Watson’s controversial trade to the Cleveland Browns and more.
SS: Hello everyone, and welcome back to Halftime on the Hilltop. I’m Saar, and we’ve got me, Demi, Tim and John Nelson here in the MSB. Today we are going to talk about Deshaun Watson being traded to the Cleveland Browns, our very own Milan Bolden-Morris becoming assistant quarterback coach at Michigan, and Tom Brady’s return to football after a very, very long retirement announcement. Alright, so I think one of the big things in Georgetown athletic news was Milan Bolden-Morris, who played here for two years as a graduate student on the women’s basketball team — just became the first female graduate assistant coach at a Power 5 program. She will be going to Michigan football to work with Jim Harbaugh as an assistant quarterback’s coach. And I don’t think this was anything anyone saw coming, but it’s really cool to see.
TB: Yeah, I mean, normally you wouldn’t expect a graduate basketball player to transition to being a football coach immediately after school but that’s obviously a huge accomplishment for Milan. What is it, first women’s Power 5 coach?
TB: Wow, that’s a big accomplishment for women everywhere then I guess, in addition to Milan.
JN: More Hoya trailblazers across the sports sphere.
DP: Yeah, I mean, if you’re not tuned in it seems kind of random, but Milan’s brother is a University of Michigan defensive end, and she’s also spent 5 years as a defensive one point guard, which is basically the equivalent of quarterback in basketball. You’re making reads, you’re distributing the ball.
TB: That’s a really good point.
DP: And she’s currently getting her masters in sports management, so.
SS: That actually is something that she said. I’ve always wondered about this too. I’ve seen a video of Chris Paul saying “Yo, if I wasn’t playing basketball I could be playing quarterback,” like Allen Iverson, obviously, he could have done the same thing. I do wonder how much of that translation is possible. That’s something that she said after getting hired. She said: “Coming from the basketball world, both guards and quarterbacks are the same. Both have the ability to make decisions under duress, read defenses, and take care of the ball.”
JN: I think that’s definitely a really good point. Especially if you’ve been accustomed to watching film after so many years, you’re going to be able to break down small details, and bring a lot of good leadership. Not just playing the game of football itself, but you don’t necessarily need that for some of the intangible things that you need to teach. Like maybe leadership on the field, or reading schemes and defenses. Harbaugh was a quarterback himself in the NFL, and I feel like he wouldn’t choose people that he didn’t trust and know what they were doing. I feel like he fully supports her and knows that she’ll do a great job.
DP: I’m looking at the press release. It sounds like he knows her pretty well, he’s referring to her as Mimi.
JN: She’s going into a really strong program already. Michigan made the college football playoffs this year and then Harbaugh was getting offers from the NFL, but it looks like he’s coming back, he’s ready to go. I think that will definitely put her in the spotlight already, and if they have continued success, who knows what that will mean for future positions and promotions, whether that be in the NCAA or the NFL.
SS: Yeah, and I don’t know what you were talking about with her brother playing there, but it looks like she reached out and was the one who expressed interest in the position. Harbaugh said: “We can’t wait to see the new perspective she brings to our team.” Being the first woman to be hired into this role and coming from a background as a basketball guard — that really captures what we are going to see. It should be very exciting.
DP: Ok so, John I told you this earlier today, I sent a text. But you have carte blanche to talk all you want about Tom Brady today.
JN: Saar’s going to have a lot to say too, he’s a big Brady fan too.
SS: Big Brady guy.
DP: I didn’t know you were a big Brady guy.
TB: I hate you both.
JN: I’m a Pats fan, Brady fan. Saar’s just a lover of the game. If you love the game of football you love Tom Brady. Quite simple.
SS: That’s correct.
TB: Well, I mean, let’s just remember Mark Sanchez is 1-0 all time in the playoffs against Tom Brady, before we continue this conversation.
SS: Great, noted, and take it away John!
TB: Continuing this conversation, as a Jets fan I think I’m fairly upset with his decision.
JN: Yeah, it won’t have any impact on your season.
TB: Not at all, just for my personal enjoyment of football.
JN: I think it should bring more enjoyment.
SS: The NFL is a better place when Tom Brady is in it. We’ve never known an NFL without him, and I’m not ready to accept that I’m old. Oh Tim, this was something I wanted to ask you. Do you think that this whole retirement thing was real? Do you think he was playing?
TB: I honestly think it was real. I don’t know why he would do it otherwise. I think he was probably just home and thinking about it. All the memes of “Brady spends one month with his kids and decides to go back to work like everybody else.” Haha.
JN: I think honestly this will be it for him. I think him even retiring this year, the family is a large part. Especially like the clip with Andrew Wentworth, he says: “I’m sorry, I want to be a better father.” Cause when you are dedicated to a game for this long you have to put everything into it. Especially if you want to have sustained success.
SS: I really hate that he has a family.
TB: I agree he is the most accomplished player in NFL history. He’s not the best player in NFL history. If you’re asking me who would I take in one game.
JN: I’m going to cry if you say Aaron Rodgers.
DP: Did you know he broke up with Shailene Woodley?
SS: He broke up with her?
DP: I need to find out who broke up with whom.
TB: Or Joe Montanah.
JN: Or Joe Montanah! C’mon. Aaron Rodgers! Aaron Rodgers just signed away his whole salary cap to lose. Honestly, Tom Brady’s just sitting back looking. You have the NFC getting weaker by the minute. Russell Wilson leaving to go to the NFC. You see a lot of teams, like the Bengals, strengthening.
TB: The Jets, the Jets.
JN: The Jets.
DP: News of Aaron Rodgers and Shailene Woodley’s breakup this last weekend sent shockwaves throughout the NFL community.
TB: I’m sure the NFL community was just on pins and needles waiting for the update.
JN: Going back to the Packers, I think that he took up his whole salary cap, lost the only good thing on his offense, Devonte Adams. Like, they have plenty of fine wide receivers, but they benefit heavily by having the best NFL wide receiver on their team.
TB: I think Devonte was leaving regardless of Roger’s contract.
JN: Yeah, he wanted to play with Caar.
TB: Yeah, I don’t know what they’re going to do now.
SS: Again, like Rodgers won the MVP and then lost in the playoffs. Immediately. It’s the Rodgers special.
DP: That’s a Harden move. That’s a Harden with the Rockets move.
TB: Don’t compare Aaron Rodgers and James Harden.
DP: Why? Who’s better? You need to go to Houston and talk to people there. Because like… no.
ALL: They don’t like James Harden anymore?
SS: That’s so pathetic.
DP: Cause he never performed in the playoffs and then he would complain and blame it on other people.
JN: He took the Warriors to seven.
TB: I mean if Chris Paul doesn’t get hurt, James Harden is an NBA champion? Finals MVP?
SS: But he does have problems in the playoffs.
TB: Of course he does, absolutely.
SS: More so than any other NBA superstar.
DP: So I’m right.
SS: Yeah 100%. I don’t appreciate that the people in Houston don’t appreciate the guy who nearly got them to the finals.
DP: I generalize. It’s not a common Houston opinion. It’s probably more of a 60-40 either way.
JN: That’s pretty common then. Well, when Houston’s college team is their best sport, other than a cheating baseball team.
DP: I’m going to ignore that last comment.
JN: I know we’ve been talking about Houston kind of taking some L’s lately.
DP: You have.
JN: I have — sorry. But we kind of look towards the Houston Texans and their situation with Deshaun Watson, and that can be considered a win. I think having a great trade package and kind of leaving behind the baggage that he brings to an organization due to his allegations.
DP: So, Austin Barish (COL ’23) — he’s a junior. He’s one of our columnists here. He has kind of been following Deshaun Watson throughout his time in his column, the “Armchair Analyst” he published about a year ago, I believe, an article — Deshaun Watson is a priceless addition to any NFL Team — basically just goes on and on about how awesome Deshawn is on the field, obviously. And then he published an article a couple weeks ago, I believe — Deshaun Watson should never play in the NFL again —in light of all these allegations, and it’s a really good article. Y’all should check it out. So Austin is currently studying abroad in Copenhagen so he was unable to come into the studio, but he did give us a call. So here’s Austin’s take on the Deshaun Watson trade.
AB: It’s been really weird to see the NFL just kind of see if there’s no criminal charges and then be like, “Oh, yep, he’s good to go.” The cases are all still fully going on. Watson missed one year, and he also got the biggest quarterback contract ever, which is also fully guaranteed. Just pretty crazy for a guy who’s got very obvious character issues, and the part that really bothers me is the contracts are structured in a way where the first year, so this upcoming season, he only makes $1 million and the reason why they did that is because if he gets suspended for the season, then that’s the only — that’s the amount that’s voided. So the contract is very clearly structured in a way where he fully understands and acknowledges that he messed up, and they still don’t care and are giving him the contract anyway. Cleveland has kind of worked its way into people’s hearts; it’s like this underdog story since they are perennially awful, but I think they can pretty much expect to be the most hated team in the league for the next however long, having sold their dignity and soul in favor of trying to win.
TB: Going off the first point, obviously, everyone knows when he plays he’s one of the best quarterbacks in NFL — like indisputable talent, undeniable, and unfortunately if you’re not called found guilty in court, I mean, you’re gonna if you’re talented enough, you’re gonna find a place to play. To me, it’s just really difficult. Like if I was a Browns fan, to kind of stomach this, just because he wasn’t found guilty on criminal charges again, obviously, doesn’t mean none of this happened. Also, the fact that Browns like went out and said, yeah, we’ve done our due diligence, blah, blah, blah, talked to everybody, but the lawyer for the 22 women who are accusing Shaun Watson came out and said the Browns have never been contacted him or any of his accusers, which, obviously, again, I’m not surprised by it, but it’s just disappointing that it happens. And that’s kind of just my general feeling with this is like, disappointed but really not surprised at all.
SS: Well he misses a year of football and then gets a $215 million contract as well. So pretty much the same sentiment and I do understand the concept to some extent that he hasn’t been proven of anything. So what can you do as the NFL like, that’s not your, it is it is pretty wild to see like someone take a full year off, after having demanded a trade from their team, and then actually get that trade to a team that they want it to go to and get a massive new contract as well.
JN: Yeah. All the money’s guaranteed it’s over $200 million.
TB: This isn’t new for the NFL. Obviously, we all know this. But just the fact that 22 women are accusing him of something is tough for me as a football fan in general, to swallow the fact that a team would take him on without the case coming to its full conclusion yet.
JN: He wasn’t being forced not to play. I don’t think; he wasn’t like being suspended. He could get suspended, but he could have a good fight for an appeal.
TB: Yeah, they’re horrible at setting precedents though. It’s like maybe the worst thing.
JN: They publish players in terrible ways. Like, I know they’ve been harder on like some substances than actual like — I think players in the past have been suspended longer for marijuana than like domestic violence or sexual assault, which…
TB: I mean, Josh Gordon got suspended indefinitely from the NFL because he got caught smoking weed a bunch of times.
JN: It’s pretty horrific.
TB: The Calvin Ridley thing, like Calvin really bet on a couple games this past season when he wasn’t playing, and he got suspended for the entire next season.
JN: I don’t know what the longest domestic violence suspension has been, but I don’t think it’s been a whole season.
SS: At least I can’t think of a high profile one.
JN: That’s what I’m saying. Yeah. And like I understand that they are trying to set a precedent so that players don’t bet but seriously, that’s what you’re setting a precedent about?
TB: Like, especially someone who has no contact with their organization.
SS: Who wasn’t playing in the game.
JN: Yeah. It’s money.
DP: Yeah, I don’t know any Browns fans. Do y’all?
JN: I don’t but unfortunately, I feel like if I were a Browns fan, I think I would be very torn. I think that Deshaun Watson is especially like, if the allegations are true, despicable, and with him going to the Browns — though the Browns have been such a terrible franchise that having the chance to have a quarterback that could take them to the next level, especially having like Baker Mayfield the last few years, a good amount of fans would turn a blind eye to the allegations and kind of like go along with the narrative that we’ve been saying that like, oh, innocent until proven guilty.
TB: He’ll play his first game or his plays for a couple games and he’ll throw for like 380 yards and four touchdowns.
JN: People will be like, “Oh, it’s fine.”
DP: So we’re not going to discuss March Madness on the pod because the turnaround time is just too close when it comes to the games. We have our own little men’s tournament challenge going on though.
JN: No, don’t do it.
DP: First, our very own Carrie McDonald (COL ’24), whom you all know and love, is sitting at number one and her champion’s Gonzaga and she’s kinda like far in the lead. Second place we got Arion.
SS: Alright, let me talk about third place here because one of our writers, Jack Lonergan (COL ’25), is a columnist and he’s covered games before. We both made the same mistake and he filled out the bracket from The Hoya Sports ESPN account and then submitted it through The Hoya Sports ESPN account and then I did the exact same thing. So Jack. Yeah, so Jack and I share a bracket right now and we’re in third place. I don’t know who made it. And I don’t know who we picked. I don’t know anything about it.
TB: Oh, you don’t know who made it. That’s interesting.
SS: I mean, he made one and I made one. I don’t know if it fused or if whoever did it second had to go through but we’re in third place and Carrie’s in the 98th percentile.
DP: Yeah, I’m so impressed by my girl Carrie. Go Carrie! This is a question for you listeners. I’m curious. You can leave a comment if you have an opinion, but for me, when I think of March Madness, I think: “Pick a bracket and you have one winner and you have one bracket because like that’s the spirit.” I think the idea of having multiple brackets goes against the fun of it and the integrity of it.
TB: So I make one bracket that I put into all my groups, which usually is bad. I make a bunch of other brackets after because usually the one I try on sucks. And, for example, my final four this year is Kentucky, my champion, versus Tennessee in the finals. And I had Tennessee defeating Iowa in the Final Four.
DP: Oh, Tim is dead last in this bracket challenge
TB: And as such, I make other brackets so I can make myself feel better about myself when my normal bracket sucks.
DP: Oh, you know, it’s so funny because I picked the Richmond upset.
TB: That’s good for you because I had Iowa in the Final Four.
DP: Dude, you had UAB beating Houston. We won 82-68.
TB: I was doing research and I found out that UAB has a guy named Jelly Walker, who also is from Long Island and Marcos and I decided that they’re actually the University of Awesome Basketball instead of the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Didn’t really work out but that was the logic.
SS: My non-Jack Lonergan bracket bracket is in the 95th percentile just saying, the one that he didn’t infect.
DP: So what’s coming out now is that Jack actually made the brackets in The Hoya but because it’s third and it’s doing well, you weren’t going to tell us.
TB: That sounds really correct.
SS: I’m just saying I have a better one regardless.
DP: This seems a little fishy.
JN: This is very fishy.
TB: Well, it’s fun to be back with the gang today. The whole sports podcast. I’ve missed it. I’m sure we’ve all missed it. We had some fun topics, some serious topics. I’m sure it’ll be a good listen and hopefully we’ll be back sooner rather than later.