It’s Knockout Day at 97.5 The Fanatic! 

As the new guy around the office, I have not yet experienced the joy of watching my co-workers failing to hit free throws, but the prospect of it has me excited. It’s true that most of us talk about sports because we were simply not good enough to play them.

Earlier this week, Pat Egan released his staff odds for Wednesday’s Fanatic Knockout Tournament following the Sixers-Mavericks game. 

Before anyone asks, Devon is not listed because he is slated to be on the air. If he frees himself from the microphone for a minute, it’s over. 

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and what my fresh perspective thinks of them.

Jamie Lynch -240

There is just no way he is a -240 favorite in this. No disrespect to Jamie or the sportsbooks, but there is that you have to lay down $2.40 to get $1.00 if he wins. Not nearly that confident in his abilities. 

However, I have heard murmurs of his talent and what to expect of him. He does his homework on hoops.

I think Pat is overselling his buddy on this one. We’ve all done it before. No crime in it, but can’t accept these odds for Jamie.

Andrew Salciunas -110

It was written into the onboarding papers I signed to work at this station that I am legally required to talk up Andrew Salciunas at any moment. I once got close to ripping him on Twitter dot com and things got scary for me.

I’ll say this: Andrew does have new dad strength. I believe this is his first knockout game post-Cooper’s birth. Knocking down free throws becomes less daunting when you are partially responsible for bringing life into this world. 

Plus, he doesn’t get out of the house as much as he used to. This is a big event for him, making him more driven than ever.

Connor Thomas +115

At a station that employs a former MLB All-Star, Connor somehow has his athletic career referenced more than anyone else. 

Due to this, Connor feels that he will be targeted in the competition. 

With his fellow co-host and reigning champion Tom Alvord producing the game back at the studio, Connor will be trying to keep the title in that Sunday 12-3 time slot.

If he wins, we won’t hear the end of it. 

Tyrone Johnson +210

Devon mentioned to me that Tyrone used to play and that he was listed too far down on the odds. That endorsement is enough for me to say that Tyrone is a value bet.

On top of that, Tyrone is a distance runner which gives him a key advantage. In a game that will reward stamina for those who struggle from the line, that could matter late in the tournament. The perfect combination of shooting ability and ability to quickly track down misses is the key to any victory in knockout.

He also had no comment to the odds being posted, he just retweeted the video of Pat giving them out. Almost as if he was just cataloging what was said of him as he prepares to prove others wrong. 

Ricky Bottalico +300

He is the one former athlete among us. The sportsbooks seem to have forgotten that one.

How does pitching the ninth inning compare to the pressure of losing to a bunch of non-athletes in knockout? That’s the big question.

Sure, he’ll always have his Major League Baseball career to hold over us, but that won’t stop an eventual winner from holding this over him.

Ricky knows this. I expect the competitor in him to come out in this. Great value pick.

Hunter Brody +300

Hunter actually strikes me as someone who has some game to him.

However, I’ve heard way too much about his desire to take charges to believe that his offensive game is refined. Plus, I don’t doubt that both Ricky and Tyrone will make a point to eliminate him. 

If they put ice down on the Wells Fargo Center floor, I would take Hunter. That’s my nice way of saying that I will not be taking him on the hardwood.

Haley Taylor Simon +450

She is very confident. 

I will say that I don’t doubt her ability to surprise us with her ability to shoot.

It’s possible that she may run into a problem due to her height. Could miss a free throw and have her follow-up shot blocked by someone who wants to knock her out. Makes it difficult to put a wager on her.

Jen Scordo +600

Jen is potentially the nicest person that I have been around. 

That will play against her in this competition. While I don’t doubt her competitive fire, I do envision a scenario where she is faced with the possibility of knocking someone out, hesitating to be nice and it eventually costing her. 

There is a sneaking suspicion that by writing this out, Jen will eliminate me in Knockout.

Dylan MacKinnon +1000

The runner up a year ago, the odds would suggest he’s massively undervalued.

Early reactions to these odds were favorable for Dylan.

Since that moment, I unfortunately have begun to have doubts about his ability to win.

Being dubbed a fun underdog and John’s pick to win will ultimately doom Dylan. Trendy picks don’t win and Dylan’s not-so-quiet confidence will likely result in someone actively trying to knock him out.

The D-Train will not ride his way to victory.

Pat Egan +5000

Self awareness is key. 

Pat is vertically challenged and, just as I mentioned about Haley, he may face the unfortunate ending of someone else blocking him. 

It is weird that the man setting the odds is giving himself the longest odds… is he setting himself up for a big pay day?

Not Listed on the Books:

John Kincade: Stretch Zone will work wonders for you, but it can’t miraculously make John good at basketball.

Bob Cooney: He will tell you a heck of a basketball story as the knockout competition happens.

Anthony Gargano: OUT (achilles) for tonight’s knockout contest.

Tom Alvord & Mike Vito: We appreciate your work back at the station.

Matt Minarik: Matt provides an unknown, not having participated before. His camp has been leaking reports of a solid jump shot and he believes that he has a real shot to win. Time will tell.

Me: My rec basketball coach used to call me Ben Simmons to encourage me to shoot the basketball. It didn’t make my jumper any better. I am not a good pick to win this.