1. The new season of Hard Knocks got off to an outstanding start last night thanks to rookie Lions defensive lineman Aiden Hutchinson.
Rookies singing during training camp has been a staple of Hard Knocks throughout the show’s history, but the Michigan standout took things to another level with his stirring rendition of the Michael Jackson 1980s classic, “Billie Jean.”
It actually took about 40 seconds for the performance to build up because most people, Hutchinson’s teammates included, don’t know a lot of the verses in “Billie Jean,” and Hutchinson came to play, singing the song, with passion, from the beginning. But once that chorus came, the room exploded.
People always told me be careful of what you do
And don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts
And mother always told me be careful of who you love
And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth
That’s the part people really love singing, so Hutchinson’s teammates jumped in to join him right from “People always told me.” And then they went all out for the “hee hee” that comes after “Don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts.”
From there on, it was nothing but pandemonium in the room. Hutchinson added some smooth dance moves, and his teammates couldn’t help but participate thanks to the infectious performance.
And if you think I’m overselling this, just check out the dude in the second row on the left-hand side. He got so hyped, he ripped his shirt off.
While Hutchinson is getting a lot of attention for his production of “Bille Jean,” we’d be remiss if we also didn’t tell you about the hilarious scene that preceded the singing and dancing. When Hutchinson took to the “stage,” he was asked what his signing bonus was with the Lions. And this is how his teammates reacted when they heard $23 million.
2. I spoke it into existence back in 2018.
And again in 2021.
And now it’s happening.
According to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, the NFL will have a game on Black Friday starting in 2023 that will air on Amazon Prime. No details have come out yet about what time the game will take place.
While it won’t be a London game at 9:30 in the morning, I will still take full credit.
3. I feel like we’re all addicted to our phones, but Pirates rookie Rodolfo Castro took things a little too far last night.
4. Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez is a gem. And he showed again why last night when he went on a tangent about not wanting to call any of New York’s games against the Phillies because the team plays bad baseball.
5. And just like that, Mets closer Edwin Díaz now has competition for the best relief pitcher entrance in baseball. Orioles closer Félix Bautista is using Omar’s whistle from The Wire when he comes to the mound.
6. This week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast is a celebration of the show’s 400th episode.
I’m joined by my weekly guest, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York, to talk about the history of the SI Media Podcast, reminisce about my taking over as host after Richard Deitsch left Sports Illustrated and discuss how the podcast has evolved over the years. I also hand out thanks to several people, including the audience, for helping the podcast roll along. And I read the latest SI Media Podcast reviews that listeners have written on Apple.
This edition of the SI Media Podcast also features an interview with Alan Sepinwall, the chief TV critic for Rolling Stone. Sepinwall gives his recommendations for what TV shows you should be watching this summer and goes in depth on The Bear, The Rehearsal and Succession. Sepinwall also shares his memories of Tony Sirico and the Sopranos character he played, Paulie Walnuts.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Michael Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” at Motown 25 was an all-time pop culture moment.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.